Donati, Ignazio

Date of birth: c.1570
Date of death: 1638

Ignazio Donati (c.1570-1638) was an Italian composer of the early Baroque period. He was one of the pioneers of the motetto concertato. This was a sacred concerto, a motet with a specific structure that became fashionable in the 17th century.
Donato was born in Casalmaggiore, in the today’s province of Cremona. Little is known about his childhood and early musical education. But there is ample documentation about his posts in various cathedrals. He served in Urbino, Pesaro, Fano, Ferrara, Casalmaggiore, Lodi and eventually Milan until his death in 1638. Most of his music is for 2 to 5 voices accompanied by basso continuo (in the original source called Basso per l’organo). In some of his works he even gave suggestions for the instrumental accompaniment, replacing or doubling voices by instruments. This is a rarity in music of the Venetian School composers who had many instrumentalists at their disposal, but in smaller cathedrals this was a useful help to improve the performing result.
Cees Wagemakers, 2018