Francesco Sponga Usper
Francesco Sponga Usper

Salmi vespertini (1627)

Publisher: Croatian Music Information Centre
Publish year: 2017

Edition type: score

Price: 30,53 

In stock

printed edition
Catalogue type:
choral music
a cappella choir
Number of pages:
Book height:
32 cm
Publication language:
croatian, english
About the music edition:
Francesco Usper (1561 –1641), was an Italian composer and organist born in Rovigno, Istria (now Rovinj, Croatia). He settled in Venice before 1586 and is associated with the confraternity St. Giovanni Evangelista, Venice. He spent most of his life there, serving as organist, chaplain, manager of the adjoining church (the S. Salvador) and administrative officer. Usper studied under Andrea Gabrieli and apparently became a fairly well known composer; he collaborated in the writing of a Requiem mass (now lost) with Giovanni Battista Grillo and Claudio Monteverdi for the Grand Duke Cosimo II, and he served as substitute organist at St. Mark's in 1622 and 1623. Although his music tended towards conservatism, he shows his ability to handle with skill sensitivity to the instrumental styles just emerging in the early 17th century. Francesco Sponga Usper published five separate collections, all of them in Venice. The collection of madrigals (1604) was composed in the Late Renaissance style: his secular madrigals were incorporated into two North European anthologies (Nurnberg, 1604; Copenhagen, 1606), while the other two Venetian anthologies (1624, 1625) included some of his motets. Transcriptions of several of Usper's sacral compositions from his known published collections are kept in Dresden (Sächsische Landesbibliothek, Staats und Universitätbibliothek). The Messa e salmi da concertarsi…et insieme sinfonie, et motetti collection (1614) was dedicated to Bishop Leonardo Tritoni of Poreč. His mass, composed in an old polyphonic style, was particularly successful. His large collection Compositioni armoniche (1619) contains instrumental compositions that had been noticed by the earliest historians of Venetian baroque music. Thus A. Einstein called his Sinfonia prima a 8 a harbinger of concerto grosso. The collection with frequent vocal and instrumental combinations in Giovanni Gabrieli's style is perhaps Usper’s most significant publication. It should finally be noted that he composed the Gradual and Tractus movements of the lost Requiem for Cosimo II de' Medici, composed together with Claudio Monteverdi and Giovanni Battista Grillo. His final collection Salmi vespertini per tutto l’anno a doi chori (1627) contains psalms ranging from those for four voices to double choir compositions, some with instrumental accompaniment. The cover page states that the collected psalms are “al’uso moderno”, as well as in the older style.

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