CLAUDIO MERULO (1533 -1604)
After his arrival in Venice in 1557, Claudio Merulo (1533-1604) becamepart of a society full of humanistic excitement: his collaboration with men ofculture led him to be considered a very esteemed composer. Claudio Merulo was a most renowned and famous organist whose compositions kills were proved by “Many of his compositions which are printed, madrigals and masses, but above all his wonderful organ tablature” and his Organ Masses that, according to Willi Apel, «[...] belong to what is most beautiful and precious produced for liturgical organ music of the sixteenth century [...]»The Missa Apostolorum, presented here, is included in the Messe d’Intavolaturad’organo, published by Merulo himself in Venice in 1568, in which the composer enriches the Gregorian monody, probably derived from the Gradual thenin use at the Basilica of San Marco and published in Venice in 1551. This was done with many different contrapuntal inventions spreading from the technique on cantus firmus (plain chant) and the paraphrase to the “straight fugues”in which the voices in imitation follow the same direction ie. both upward,“flight in true line” or descending, “flight in plagal line”, with a peak of dissonance at the end of the “ Kyrie II “and running into a pair of parallel fifths in line “Domine Deus” of the Gloria.