Orazio Benevoli

(1605 - 1672).


Italian composer. Son of a French baker, he served as choirboy at S. Luigi dei Francesi in Rome (1617 -23) and thereafter assumed posts as maestro di cappellaat S. Maria in Trastevere (from 1624), at Santo Spirito in Sassia (from 1630), and eventually at his old Church, S. Luigi dei Francesi (from 1638). In Vienna he served the Archduke Leopold Wilhelm in 1644 /46, but he returned to Rome to serve at S. Maria Maggiore and at the Cappella Giulia (St. Peter's). He composed Masses, motets, Magnificats. and other sacred vocal works. His fame has tested largely on a work that he apparently did not compose: strong external and internal evidence suggests that the 53-part Missa salisburgensis, long cited as an example of the "gigantic" Baroque polychoral style, was not the work by Benevoli performed in Salzburg Cathedral in 1628, but dates from later in the 17th century and is probably by H. I. Biber.

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