Giaches de Wert




Giaches De Wert was a choirboy at the chapel of Maria de Cardona in Naples and around 1550 he became a student of Cypriano de Rore at the chapel of Ercole II d’Este in Ferrara. In the early 1560’s he was the maestro di cappella at the governor's court in Milan. In 1565 he entered the service of Guglielmo Gonzaga in Mantua and became choir master of the ducal chapel of Santa Barbara where he remained until 1592. 


De Wert wrote more than 230 madrigals and other profane pieces, and more than 150 sacral pieces which illustrate his masterful command of counterpoint. 

With regards to style, his madrigals belong to the most advanced of his time. His early madrigals were influenced by Willaert and de Rore. Later in the 1580’s, he stimulated the development of the new expressive and emotionally intense style. The court of Mantua was able to attract great vocal talents and de Wert broadened the setting of his madrigal from 4 to 5 voices. De Wert followed de Rore in his choice of cultivated poetry: he arranged more poems of Petrarch than any other composer of this period. In addition to this, he was also the first to use the writings of Torquato Tasso (1544-1595), a rising poet whom he befriended. 

De Wert stands between Cypriano de Rore and Claudio Monteverdi, the latter working under him in Mantua. De Wert’s accomplishments in the art of the madrigal had a clear musical influence on Monteverdi.

Choral works (selection)

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