Gallus (Petelin), Jacobus

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Gallus (Petelin), Jacobus

Gallus (Petelin), Jacobus, important Slovenian composer; b. Carniola (probably in Ribnica), between April 15 and July 31, 1550; d. Prague, July 24, 1591. His Slovenian name was Petelin (which means “cockerel”); its Germanic equivalent was Handl, or Hahnel (diminutive of Hahn, “rooster”); he publ. most of his works under the corresponding Latin name Gallus (“rooster”). As a master of poly choral counterpoint, Gallus was highly regarded in his time. He held several important positions as an organist and music director. He was Kapellmeister to the Bishop of Olmutz (1579–85), and later was employed at the church of St. Johannes in Vado in Prague. A number of his works were publ. during his lifetime. Of these there are several masses: Selectiores quaedam Missae (Prague, 1580), containing 4 books of 16 masses, from 4 to 8 Voices; a modern ed. by P. Pisk was publ. in Denkmaler der Tonkunst in Osterreich (Vienna, 1935; reprinted in 1959, 1967, and 1969); 4 books of motets were publ. in Prague between 1586 and 1591 under the title Opus musicum: 1st part (1586) from 4 to 8 Voices (exact title, Tomus primus musici operas harmonium quatuor, quinque, sex, octo et pluribus vocum)-, 2nd and 3rd were publ. in 1587, and 4th in 1591; 5 additional motets were printed individually from 1579 to 1614. Opus musicum was reprinted in a modern ed. by E. Bezecny and J. Mantuani in Denkmaler der Tonkunst in Osterreich (Vienna, 1899, 1905, 1908, 1913, 1917, 1919; all reprinted again in 1959); Moralia 5, 6 et 8 vocibus concinnata, orig. publ. in 1596, was reprinted in a modern ed. by D. Cvetko (Ljubljana, 1968) and A. Skei (Madison, Wise., 1970). His secular works include Harmoniae morales (Prague, 1589–90; modern ed. by D. Cvetko, Ljubljana, 1966) and Moralia (Prague, 1596). A motet by Gallus, Ecce quomodo moritur Justus, was borrowed by Handel for his Funeral Anthem.


D. Cvetko, /. G., Sein Leben und Werk (Munich, 1972).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire