Antonio Stringari, Heinrich Isaac, Pietro Paolo Borrono, Trombetino, Nicolò Pifaro, Adrian Willaert, Eustachio Romano, Nicolò Broco.
Music in Padua at the time of Alvise Cornaro
Alvise Cornaro (1484-1566) was born in Venice, but at the young age of fifteen he moved to Padua into the home of his uncle Don Alvise Angelieri. A few years after taking a degree in jurisprudence, he found himself administering his uncle’s bountiful inheritance. In the house in Via Bersaglio (today Via Cesarotti) which leads into Piazza del Santo, he created the first core of what would become one of the most prestigious architectural monuments of renaissance Veneto. With great artistic intuition and a remarkable spirit of patronage, he became the champion and protector of the arts, surrounding himself with the most illustrious personages of his time. The “court” of Alvise Cornaro was transformed into a center for theater and musical entertainments, and became the veritable heart of intellectual life and thought in Padua in the first half of the sixteenth century. “Casa Cornaro” was home for twenty years to Giovanni Maria Falconetto, and for almost that long to Angelo Beolco (detto Il Ruzante). Other celebrated habitués were Tiziano Aspetti, the architect Andrea da Valle, and the humanists Valeriano and Scardeone, as well as Bembo, Speroni, Trissino and even the young Palladio. It was probably thanks to Ruzante that Cornaro developed a passion for music, leading him to build the octagonal room of the Odeo, the perfect venue for musical soirées. Ruzante, as is well known, was not only a playwright and actor; he also sang and probably played some instrument. His performances were certainly very popular: in an account of a banquet given some years later in Ferrara in January 1529 (following a performance of Ludovico Ariosto’s Cassaria), Cristoforo da Messisburgo wrote, “during the sixth course, Ruzante, together with five male companions and two women, sang exceedingly beautiful songs and madrigals in the Paduan style, and they all walked around the table animatedly debating rustic topics in that delightful language, dressed in their modern manner, and continued thusly until the seventh course arrived…”