Serafino Cantone

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Born: c.1565

Died: 1630

Biography Italian composer and organist. He was a Benedictine monk and took his vows on 2 March 1580 in the abbey of S Simpliciano at Milan, where he spent much of his career. According to Grigolato (MGG1), he moved on 28 January 1587 to the Carmelite monastery at Milan, S Giovanni in Conca. Possevino stated that he worked at Venice around 1592, but this claim is not fully substantiated by documentary evidence. By 1599 he had returned to S Simpliciano as an organist; during his later years he may have been organist at Milan Cathedral. Both as an organist and composer he enjoyed respect in contemporary Milanese musical circles. Cantone's works are stylistically typical of the period of change at the turn of the century; his early motets maintained the tradition of imitative polyphony, while the Sacrae cantiones of 1599 are double-choir works of the Venetian type. In his later motets, as the title Motetti concertati alla moderna suggests, he adopted the newer, Baroque technique of concertato writing for smaller forces. Very little of his instrumental music survives, but it shows, particularly in the four-part canzona La Serafina (RISM 16172, copied into the Pelplin Tablatures, PL-PE), a masterly control of contrapuntal technique. Outside Italy his works were known and circulated in Bavaria, Prussia, Pomerania and Silesia.

List of choral works

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  • Canzonette, 3vv, 1588
  • Il primo libro de madrigali, 5vv, 1591
  • Sacræ cantiones sive motecta...quinque vocum, 1596
  • Sacræ cantiones &tc. Octonis vocibus decantandae, 1599
  • Canzonette, 4vv, 1599
  • Vesperi a versetti, e falsi bordoni a cinque voci, 1602
  • Officium hebdomadæ santæ quinque vocibus decantandum, 1603
  • Motecta cum Letaniis B. Mariæ semper Virginis et Sanctorum, 1605
  • Messa Salmi et Lettanie a cinque voci concertate con il basso continuo, 1621
  • Motetti conertati alla moderna...libro quatro, 1625
  • Academia festevole concertata, 6vv, 1627)

External links

Works by Serafino Cantone in the Petrucci Music Library (IMSLP)