Alessandro Grandi

(c.1575/80 - 1630)

Italian composer. He was not born in Sicily, as some reference works state. Perhaps a pupil of Giovanni Gabrieli, he became choirmaster at the Accademia della Morte in Ferrara in 1597, and held the same post at the Accademia dello Spirito Santo there in 1604-14. In 1616 he directed music at Ferrara cathedral. The next year he became a singer and in 1620 vice-maestroat St Mark's, Venice, under Monteverdi, and from 1627 till his death of the plague he directed music at S. Maria Maggiore, Bergamo.

Grandi was one of the most talented north Italian composers of the early years of the seventeenth century. His main contribution was to church music in the new concertato style: he published eleven volumes of motets, many of them exceptionally popular, three volumes of psalms, and five Masses; his secular output contained two books of concertato madrigals and four of solo cantatas and arias. He was a master of melody, as is evident from his arias and solo motets; in the former he developed the art of strophic variation over a repeating bass line. His concertato motets show superb control of texture and expressive pathos, and the motets with symp home s' published in the 1620s, employing an obbligato pair of violins, afforded novelties of structure and influenced Schütz.

A Partial Alessandro Grandi Discography | VA: Monody and the Vocal Concerto | VD: The Cantata | VG: Sacred Music in the Seicento