Philippe [Filippo di, Philippus de] de Monte

(1521 - 1603)

Philippe de Monte

Franco-Flemish composer. He was in Naples from 1541 to 1544, and knew Lassus there; he then came via Rome and Antwerp to England (1544-45) as a member of Queen Mary's chapel, but returned to Naples, for the predominance of Spaniards in this choir (Mary was married to Philip II of Spain) was not to his taste. From 1568 until his death he was Kapellmeister to the Habsburg court (under Maximilian II and Rudolf II) in Vienna and Prague. Additional income came from two benefices at Cambrai Cathedral, neither requiring his residence there. His friends included, apart from Lassus, William Byrd, his students Macque and Regnart.

Although his compositions appeared throughout his career, the vast majority were published after 1568, the year of his move to the Habsburg court. Monte was scarcely less prominent than Lassus or Palestrina among late Renaissance polyphonists and was one of the most prolific composers of the time--he wrote no fewer than 1,073 secular and 144 spiritual madrigals, forty-five chansons, 319 motets and thirty-eight Masses. There are also five books of similarly constructed spiritual madrigals.In his madrigals, mainly written during his Italian years, he comes closer perhaps to Palestrina than to Lassus in the mixture of polyphony and homophony, in the fine contrapuntal technique he displayed and in his fondness for the spiritual madrigal. Later, with the Imperial court comparatively isolated from new trends, he declined to follow the fashion for dramatic writing or chromaticism, claiming that it 'did not suit him'. Most of his Masses and motets were written at the Imperial court, the former being mostly parody Masses, rich and impressive in style.

A Partial Philippe De Monte Discography | IVA: The Netherlanders around and after Josquin  |  IVK: Orlandus Lassus and Catholic Polyphony in late 16th Century Germany