Soriano, Francesco

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Soriano, Francesco

Soriano, Francesco, outstanding Italian composer; b. Soriano, near Viterbo, 1548 or 1549; d. Rome, July 19, 1621. He went to Rome, where he was a choirboy at St. John Lateran; received instruction from Annibale Zoilo, Bartolomeo Roy, G.B. Montanari, and Palestrina. About 1574 he entered the priesthood; was maestro di cappella at S. Luigi dei Francesi by 1580. After serving in a similar capacity to the Gonzaga court in Mantua (1581–86), he returned to Rome as maestro di cappella at S. Maria Maggiore (1587–99; 1601–3), St. John Lateran (1599–1601), and the Cappella Giulia at St. Peter’s (1603–20). With Felice Anerio, he was named by a papal commission to complete the revision of the chant books started by Palestrina and Zoilo in 1577; the Editio medicaea was finished in 1612 and publ. in 1614. Soriano was a masterful polyphonist.


VOCAL: Sacred: Motectorum for 8 Voices (Rome, 1597); Missarum liber primus for 4 to 6 and 8 Voices (Rome, 1609); Psalmi et motecta for 8, 12, and 16 Voices and Basso Continuo (organ) (Venice, 1616); Passio D. N. Jesu Christe secundum quatuor Evengelistas, Magnificat, sequentia fidelium de-functorum, una cum responsoria for 4 Voices (Rome, 1619). Secular: II primo libro di madrigali for 5 Voices (Venice, 1581); II secondo libro di madrigali for 5 Voices (Rome, 1592); II primo libro di madrigali for 4 to 6 Voices (Rome, 1601); II secondo libro di madrigali (n.p., 1602); Canoni et oblighi di 110 sorte, sopra l’Ave maris stella for 3 to 8 Voices (Rome, 1610); other works in contemporary collections.


S. Kniseley, The Masses of P. S.: A Style-critical Study (Gainesville, Fla., 1967).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire