Guami, Gioseffo

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Guami, Gioseffo

Guami, Gioseffo, renowned Italian organist and composer, brother of Francesco Guami; b. Lucca, c. 1540; d. there, 1611. He sang in the cappella grande at San Marco in Venice (1561-68), where he studied with Willaert and Annibale Padovano. He then went to Munich as 1st organist and capo delli concert! at the court chapel of Duke Albert V, where he was active until 1579; he also was in Italy with Lassus (1570-74). In 1579 he became organist at San Michele in Lucca. By 1585 he was maestro di cappella at the court of Prince Gian Andrea Doria in Genoa, but was once more in Lucca by 1587. After serving as 1st organist at San Marco in Venice (1588-91), he returned again to Lucca and was organist at the Cathedral from 1591 until his death. He was succeeded by his son Vincenzo. Guami was one of the most highly regarded musicians of his time. He was a master of the organ, but he also was praised as a string player and singer. He was a highly gifted composer, being especially esteemed for his motets.


VOCAL S a c r e d : Sacrae cantiones for 5 to 8 and 10 Voices (Venice, 1585); Lamentationes Hieremiae prophetae (Venice, 1588); Sacrarum cantionum variis, et choris, et instrumentorum generibus concinendarum (Milan, 1608); various other works, including the parody mass In me transierunt on a Lassus motet (1590). S e c u l a r : IIprimo libro di madrigali for 5 Voices (Venice, 1565); IIterzo libro de madrigali for 5 Voices (Venice, 1584); II quarto libro de madrigali for 5 and 6 Voices (Venice, 1591). OTHER: Canzonetta francese a 4, 5, and 8 (Venice, 1601; may not be by Guami); also 2 fantasias a 4 (1588), a toccata for Organ (1593), and a number of canzonas.


A. Bonaccorsi, Maestri di Lucca: I G. e altri musicisti (Florence, 1967); P. Crabtree, The Vocal Works ofG. and FrancescoG. (diss., Univ. of Cincinnati, 1971).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire