Merulo (real name, Merlotti), Claudio

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Merulo (real name, Merlotti), Claudio

Merulo (real name, Merlotti), Claudio, important Italian composer, organist, and music publisher, called da Correggio; b. Correggio, April 8, 1533; d. Parma, May 4, 1604. He studied with Tutto vale Menon and Girolamo Donato. On Oct. 21, 1556, he became organist at the Cathedral in Brescia, succeeding Vincenzo Parabosco. On July 2, 1557, was chosen as 2nd organist at San Marco in Venice, and in 1566 he succeeded Padovano as 1st organist, a position he held until 1584. He composed a number of works for state occasions, including intermedi to Frangipane’s Tragedia for the visit of Henry III of France in 1574. Active as a music publisher between 1566 and 1570, he brought out several first eds. of his own works, as well as of works by Primavera, Porta, and Wert. In 1586 he was appointed organist at the court of the Duke of Parma; in 1591 became organist to the company of the Steccata, a position he retained until his death. Merulo was one of the most famous organists of his time. As a composer, he was an important representative of the Venetian school. His organ music is of especial merit; he also composed church music and madrigals. An edition of his sacred music, ed. by J. Bastian in Corpus Mensurabilis Musicae, began publication in 1970. For his instrumental works, see S. Dalla Libera, Claudio Merulo: Toccate per organo, I-III (Milan, 1959).


instrumental:Ricercari d’intabolatura d’organo...libro primo (Venice, 1567); Messe d’intavolatura d’organo (Venice, 1568); II primo libro de ricercari da cantare a 4 (Venice, 1574); Canzoni d’intavolatura d’organo a 4 fatte alla francese (Venice, 1592); Toccate d’intavolatura d’organo, libro primo (Rome, 1598); Toccate d’intavolatura d’organo, libro secondo (Rome, 1604); Libro secondo di canzoni d’intavolatura d’organo a fatte alla francese (Venice, 1606); Ricercari da cantare a 4...libro secondo (Venice, 1607); Ricercari da cantare a 4...libro terzo (Venice, 1608); Terzo libro de canzoni d’intavolatura d’organo a 5 fatte alla francese (Venice, 1611). vocal: sacred:Missarum liber primus for 5 Voices (Venice, 1573); Liber primus sacrarum cantionum for 5 Voices (Venice, 1578); Liber secundus sacrarum cantionum for 5 Voices (Venice, 1578); II primo libro de mottetti for 6 Voices (Venice, 1583); II primo libro de mottetti for 4 Voices (Venice, 1584); II secondo libro de mottetti for 6 Voices (Venice, 1593); Sacrorum concentuum for 5, 8, 10, 12, and 16 Voices (Venice, 1594); II terzo libro de mottetti for 6 Voices (Venice, 1605); Misse due for 8 and 12 Voices, with Organ (Venice, 1609). secular:II primo libro de madrigali for 5 Voices (Venice, 1566); II primo libro de madrigali for 4 Voices (Venice, 1579); II primo libro de madrigali for 3 Voices (Venice, 1580); II secondo libro de madrigali for 5 Voices (Venice, 1580). other: Intermedi to L. Dolce’s drama Le Troiane (1566) and Frangipane’s Tragedia (Venice, July 21, 1574).


Q. Bigi, Di C. M. da Correggio (Parma, 1861); C. M. da Correggio (Parma, 1905; essays by 8 Italian scholars); L. Debes, Die musikalischen Werke von C. M. (1533–1604) (diss., Julius-Maximilians Univ., Würzburg, 1964); J. Bastian, The Sacred Music ofC. M. (diss., Univ. of Mich., 1967).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire