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Arcadelt, Jakob


Renaissance composer, master of the madrigal (also Arkadelt, Archadet, Harcadelt); b. Liège?, Belgium, c. 1504; d. Paris?, between 1562 and 1572. His Flemish nationality is attested in the 1539 records of the Julian Chapel at the Vatican (Jacobus Flandrus magister Capellae ). By 1540 he was appointed to the Sistine Chapel, and he remained there until at least 1549. During the 1550s he was perhaps in Paris, where his chansons, earlier published only sporadically, were issued as collections after 1553. In his book of Masses (1557) he is called choirmaster of Cardinal Charles Lorraine (Duc de Guise), as well as regius musicus to the king of France. Since he is in the royal chapel records for 1562, but not in the next extant list, 1572, he probably died between these dates. Although Arcadelt composed motets, Lamentations, and Masses, his greatest importance rests with his chansons and madrigals, whose four-part species he brought to perfection. The madrigals are essentially diatonic works, displaying a sensitive awareness of the text, and are written in a judicious alternation of imitative and note-against-note polyphony. In them he first successfully infused the simple Italian forms with the artistic polyphony of his homeland.

Bibliography: a. einstein, The Italian Madrigal, tr. a. h. krappe et al., 3 v. (Princeton 1949). w. klefisch, Arcadelt als Madrigalist (Cologne 1938). g. reese, Music in the Renaissance (rev. ed. New York 1959). t. w. bridges, "The Publishing of Arcadelt's First Book of Madrigals" (Ph.D. diss. Harvard University, 1982). b. bujic, "Palestrina, Willaert, Arcadelt, and the Art of Imitation," Recercare 10 (1998) 105131. k. van orden, "Les Vers lascifs d'Horace : Arcadelt's Latin Chansons," The Journal of Musicology 14 (1996): 338369. d. m. randel, ed., The Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music (Cambridge, Massachusetts 1996). b. v. rivera, "The Two-Voice Framework and Its Harmonization in Arcadelt's First Book of Madrigals," Music Analysis 6 (1987) 5988. a. seay, "Jacques Arcadelt" in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, v.1, ed. s. sadie 546550, (New York 1980). n. slonimsky, ed. Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, Eighth Edition (New York 1992).

[e. r. lerner]

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