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Monte, Philippe de


Dutch composer celebrated as a madrigalist; b. Mechlin (Malines), 1521; d. Prague, July 4, 1603. After preliminary music studies he settled in Naples in 1542 as a teacher, but in 1554 transferred to Rome, where his first book of madrigals was published. As a member of Philip II's chapel he spent the next period in Antwerp and England, where he made friends with Thomas Morley and W. byrd. When Jakob Vaet, imperial chapelmaster, died and negotiations with palestrina failed, Monte was appointed in 1568 and held the post for the rest of his life, enjoying the new emperor Rudolph II's favor as he had Maximilian II's. Monte was one of the most productive composers of his time, and his fame rivaled that of Palestrina and lasso. Between 1554 and 1603 he published 1,073 secular and 144 spiritual madrigals in 42 volumes, with texts by Cardinal Bembo, F. Petrarch, T. Tasso, Vittoria colonna, and other leading poets. Their tone is lyrical and elegiac, only rarely dramatic, and after 1580, less chromatic and increasingly contrapuntal in technique. His church music, which comprises 320 motets and 38 Masses that have been compared to Palestrina's, is conservative and melodic, with felicitous voice combinations. Most of his Masses, only nine of which were published in his lifetime, are of the parody type, elaborating polyphonic models by rore, g. de Wert, P. Verdelot, and himself. Among the best are the Missa Benedicta Es and the Requiem. In the motets, double-choir technique and imitation in all voices are found, with strict contrapuntal writing in the earlier groups and homophonic declamation alternating with counterpoint in the later. In contrast to the dramatic antitheses and climaxes of Lasso's motets, Monte's pieces in this form are pervaded with mystical fervor, as for example, in his six-voice O bone Jesu.

Bibliography: Opera omnia, ed. j. van nuffel et al., 31 v. (Bruges 192735); Missa ad modulum Benedicta es (Amsterdam 1920). p. nuten, "De Madrigal spirituali" van Filip de Monte (Brussels 1958), pts. 13. g. van doorslaer, La Vie et les oeuvres de Philippe de Monte (Brussels 1921). a. einstein, The Italian Madrigal, tr. a. h. krappe et al., 3 v. (Princeton N.J. 1949). g. reese, Music in the Renaissance (rev. ed. New York 1959). p. h. lÁng, Music in Western Civilization (New York 1941). h. coates, Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. e. blom, 9 v. (5th ed. London 1954) 5:837839. r. c. gobin, "The Late Madrigal Cycles of Philippe de Monte" (Ph.D. diss. Northwestern University 1984). r. b. lenaerts, "Philippus de Monte als motettenkomponist," Kirchenmusikalisches Jahrbuch, 66 (1982) 4958. r. lindell, "Studien zu den sechsund siebenstimmigen Madrigalen von Filippo di Monte" (Ph.D. diss. Vienna 1980). b. r. mann, The Secular Madrigals of Filippo di Monte 15211603 (Ann Arbor, Mich. 1983). d. m. randel, ed., The Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music (Cambridge, Mass. 1996) 601. n. slonimsky, ed. Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians (8th ed. New York 1992) 12391240. m. steinhardt and r. m. lindell, "Philippe de Monte," in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. s. sadie, v. 12 (New York 1980) 505508.

[r. b. lenaerts]

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