Simon Bar Jona Madelka

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Alias: Simone Bariona Madelka


Born: 1530-1550 Opole
Died: around 1598 Plzen


The circumstances of his life remain unclear up to now. He may have came from Opole, as suggested by the cognomen Oppolensis, preserved in the collection of his music. The surname Madelka was also quite common both in Silesia and Opole.[2] He came to Western Bohemia probably in consequence of culmination of the reformation wave in Opole Region in the middle of 16th century. Madelka was a Catholic, and his religion may have been the main reason for his changing residences..[2] In 1575 he was entered to the register of the butcher's guild in Plzeň, and in 1580 became a master butcher. Soon after that (in 1585) he became the member of the guild's board of elders. He died probably during the epidemic of a plague, which killed 1300 - 1600 citizens of Plzeň in 1598.[2] His name appears in the manuscripts exclusively as Šimon Bariona, the other variants of his name (Bar Jona, Madelka) figure only in his printed music.[2] He is mentioned in various musical sources together with other European composers, such as Clemens non Papa, Jacobus Vaet, Thomas Crecquillon, Michael des Buissons and Orlando di Lasso. In the Czech musical context, he was the contemporary of Jacobus Handl Gallus, Jan Simonides Montanus, Pavel Spongopaeus Jistebnický, Ondřej Chrysoponus Jevíčský, Jan Traján Turnovský and others. The list of his compositions number thirty five sacral works, but only one of them remained well-preserved - the collection of Seven Penitential Psalms, published in 1586 by German printer Nicholas Knorr in Altdorf bei Nürnberg. His second published composition, printed by Jiří Nigrin in Prague, as well as the rest of his output, is preserved only in fragments. His first printed composition, Canticum Beatissimae virginis Mariae, was published in Prague in 1578. It was dedicated to the Abbot of Teplá, Jan Mauskönig. The second printed edition, the Seven Penitential Psalms, was dedicated to the Provost of the Chotěšov monastery, Albert Jordán of Mohelnice.

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List of choral works

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