Roland De Lassus

Composer of the French-Flemish Renaissance School (Mons, 1532 - Munich, 1594)

Also called Belgian Orpheus or the Prince of Music by his musician peers, Roland de Lassus (also known as Orlando di Lasso, Orlande de Lassus, or Roland Delattre) is considered as one of the most eclectic authors of his time. With his contemporary Philippe de Monte, he is one of the masters of16th century Franco-Flemish school and was critical in music history, representing the peek of Franco-Flemish polyphony era.

Prolific and eclectic composer, Roland de Lassus is the author of 2000 pieces in various genres: 520 motets, 185 madrigals, 141 French songs, 86 German lieders, 29 villanelles, 50 masses, 101 magnificats, 32 hymns, 13 litanies and 4 passions… His two sons Ferdinand and Rodolphe also became composers but failed to live up to their father’s fame, their own career soon falling into oblivion.

Three landmark dates in the life of Roland de Lassus:

1555: Publication of the 1st edition of the Madrigals in Antwerp and Venice: the beginning of its renown.
1556: Moves to Munich
1563: Nominated maestro di cappella at the Court of Munich

Three key works by Roland de Lassus:

1560: The Penitential Psalms
1585: The Lamentations of Jeremiah with 5 voices, for choir a cappella
1594: Lagrime di San Pietro, cycle of 20 spiritual madrigal