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Animuccia, Giovanni

ANIMUCCIA, GIOVANNI, Italian musical composer, was born at Florence in the last years of the 15th century. At the request of St. Filippo Neri he composed a number of Laudi, or hymns of praise, to be sung after sermon time, which have given him an accidental prominence in musical history, since their performance in St. Filippo's Oratory eventually gave rise (on the disruption of 16th century schools of composition) to those early forms of "oratorio" that are not traceable to the Gregorian-polyphonic "Passions." St. Filippo admired Animuccia so warmly that he declared he had seen the soul of his friend fly upwards towards heaven. In 1555 Animuccia was appointed maestro di capella at St. Peter's, an office which he held until his death in 1571. He was succeeded by Palestrina, who had been his friend and probably his pupil. The manuscript of many of Animuccia's compositions is still preserved in the Vatican Library. His chief published works were Madrigali e Motetti a quattro e cinque voci (Ven. 1548) and Il primo Libra di Messe (Rom. 1567). From the latter Padre Martini has taken two specimens for his Saggio di Contrapunto. A mass from the Primo Libra di Messe on the canto fermo of the hymn Conditor alme siderum is published in modern notation in the Anthologie des maîtres religieux primitifs of the Chanteurs de Saint Gervais. It is solemn and noble in conception, and would be a great work but for a roughness which is more careless than archaic.

PAOLO ANIMUCCIA, a brother of Giovanni, was also celebrated as a composer; he is said by Fetis to have been maestro di capella at S. Giovanni in Laterano from the middle of January 1550 until 1552, and to have died in 1563.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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