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Valentini, Pier Francesco


Baroque composer and theorist; b. Rome, c. 1570; d. Rome, 1654. Little is known of his life except that he was a pupil of G. M. Nanino. He wrote a number of theoretical works and composed many motets, madrigals, spiritual songs, and litanies, all in the Roman style exemplified by the works of palestrina. A remarkably skilled contrapuntalist, Valentini was best known in his time, and is chiefly remembered today, for his canon on the words of the Salve Regina "Illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte" with resolutions in two, three, four, and six voices (1629). This canon had more than 2,000 possible resolutions, and became well known through Athanasius kircher's publication of it in part one of his great work, Musurgia universalis (Rome 1650).

Bibliography: l. kunz, Die Tonartenlehre des römischen Theoretikers und Komponisten P. F. Valentini (Kassel 1937). g. chouquet, Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. e. blom 9 v. (5th ed. London 1954) 8:654655, contains theme of the Salve Regina Canon. g. gerbino, review of Institutional Patronage in Post-Tridentine Rome: Music at Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini 15501650, by n. o'regan, Journal of Seventeenth-Century Music 3 (1997), <//>, par. 3.3. s. martinotti and a. ziino, "Pier Francesco Valentini" in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, vol. 19, ed. s. sadie, (New York 1980) 497498. d. m. randel, ed., The Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music (Cambridge 1996) 937. n. slonimsky, ed., Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, Eighth Edition (New York 1992) 1933.

[w. c. holmes]

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