Felice Anerio (1560-1614)

Felice Anerio (1560-1614), began his career in 1568 as a choirboy at S. Maria Maggiore, sang under Palestrina in the Cappella Giulia from 1575 to 1579 and was choirmaster of the English College in Rome. He wrote the usual range of music for a composer of the time: madrigals both secular and sacred. But the great achievement of his life was his appointment as official Papal composer in 1594, on the death of Palestrina, who had held the post since 1565, a post created especially for Palestrina, and which ceased with Anerio's death. Several of his compositions, including today’s motet Adoramus te, Christe, passed for a long time as Palestrina’s work. Anerio shows himself as a true master, combining beautiful flowing polyphony mixed with more homophonic passages, rhythmic vitality, including shifts from duple to triple time and back, variation in density of scoring, all with clear presentation of the text. 

© Ryan Turner

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