Asola, Giammateo

Date of birth: c.1532

Giammateo Asola (also spelled as Giovanni Matteo Asula Veronese - and all variations on this) was an Italian composer of the Renaissance. He was born in Verona in (about) 1532 and began his study in Alga - an island in the Venice Laguna - in 1546 in the congregation of secular canons. While in Verona he must have studied with Vincenzo Ruffo, whose influence is significant in his compositions.
In 1577 he became maestro di cappella at the cathedral of Treviso, near Venice. After a 4-year detour to Vicenza Cathedral because of better payment, he went to Venice, the center of sacred music in northern Italy in those days. In literature there is no indication that Asola was connected with St. Mark’s in Venice.
Asola lived in Venice until he died in 1609. His style does not show any influence from the Venetian school; it had more familiarities with the conservative Roman style of Palestrina. In his later works he began using a basso continuo; he may have been one of the first composers to do so. In his 1588 publication of masses for 8 voices he applied cori spezzati (spatially separated groups of singers), which must yet have been a Venetian influence.
Asola was very prolific: he wrote several masses, including a very well-known Requiem, psalm setting, lamentations, vespers, antiphons and many other sacred works. He wrote secular music as well: several books of madrigals and a book of madrigali spirituali which is lost.
Cees Wagemakers (source: Wikipedia)