Merulo, Claudio

Date of birth: 1533
Date of death: 1604

Claudio Merulo was an Italian composer, publisher and organist of the late Renaissance. He worked at the Ferrara court and at St. Mark’s in Venice. Here he became close friends with Costanzo Porta. In 1556 he was appointed organist of the Old Cathedral of Brescia (Duomo Vecchio). He was esteemed as organist: one of his pupils was Ivo de Vento. Together with Andrea Gabrieli he played on the two organs of St. Mark’s. In 1584 he suddenly left Venice for no obvious reason, but a few months later his name occurred in payment registers of the Farnese Court in Parma.
Merulo is especially famous for his keyboard music. This fame overshadows his vocal output in a way. He wrote many madrigals for 4 and 5 voices. In 1566 and 1604 appeared two books with madrigals for 5, and in 1579 for 4 voices. In 1580 he published a book with madrigals for 3 voices.
Cees Wagemakers, 2018