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Mass : for 12 voices / Hans Leo Hassler; transcribed and edited by Cees Wagemakers

Genre: Vocal music
Subgenre: Mixed choir
Instruments: GK

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Mass : for 12 voices / Hans Leo Hassler; transcribed and edited by Cees Wagemakers

Genre: Vocal music
Subgenre: Mixed choir
Instruments: GK

 

composer

Hassler, Hans Leo

Hans Leo Hassler (1564-1612) was a German organist and composer of the late Renaissance an early Baroque period. He was born in Nuremberg and died in Frankfurt am Main.
He was educated in music by his father, the organist Isaac Hassler who had two more sons: Jacob and Caspar, the latter being the collector of the bundle of motets this mass is taken from. The Mass for 12 voices (3 x SATB) is standing alone here. The motets from the collection Sacræ Symphoniæ diversorum excelentissimorum authorum (originally published by Paul Kaufmann in Nuremberg, 1600) are separately to be obtained at Donemus.
Hans Leo Hassler became the first of many German composers of the time who went to Italy to study further. He arrived in Venice at the summit of activity of the Venetian School with its typical polychoral style which became very popular outside the city. He was already familiar with this Venetian music due to the works of Leonhard Lechner who was associated with Orlandus Lassus in Munich.
Hassler became friends with Giovanni Gabrieli. Together they studied with Andrea Gabrieli (the uncle of Giovanni). They received education in organ playing and composition. After the death of Gabrieli Hassler moved to Germany again in 1485: to Augsburg, where he became organist and was well-known as a composer.
His influence as composer was less than it could have been since Hassler was a Protestant in an an area still heavily Catholic. His knowledge of organs made him a well-respected expert, often consulted by organ builders. In 1602 he returned to Nuremberg where he became Kapellmeister (chorus master). He got an appointment as Kaiserlicher Hofdiener (Servant of the Imperial Court) of Rudolph II.
In 1606 Hassler moved to Dresden where he worked as chamber organist of Christian II of Saxony. He died in 1612 of tuberculosis, and was succeeded by Michael Prætorius and Heinrich Schütz in his place.
Hassler was one of the first to bring the innovations of the Venetian School across the Alps. He brought the villanelle, canzonette and dance songs by Gastoldi and Vecchi to Germany. In this way he had a very great influence on German music of the 17th century, e.g. on Heinrich Schütz. While great musicians as Lassus represented the fully developed Renaissance polyphony (the prima prattica), Hassler introduced the new trend of the seconda prattica out of Italy, later being called the Baroque.
Cees Wagemakers