Giovanni de Macque


{ Biography }

Giovanni de Macque (Giovanni de Maque, Jean de Macque) (1548/1550 – September 1614) was a Franco-Flemish composer of the late Renaissance and early Baroque, who spent almost his entire life in Italy. He was one of the most famous Neapolitan composers of the late 16th century; some of his experimentation with chromaticism was likely influenced by Gesualdo, who was an associate of his.

Macque was born in Valenciennes, but moved to Vienna at an early age, where he sang as a choirboy, and where he studied with Philippe de Monte, the renowned composer of madrigals. When his voice broke in late 1563 — the only evidence for his birthdate — he was moved out of the choir and into a Jesuit college, and sometime before 1574 he moved to Rome, where he worked as a composer and as an organist; he published his first book of madrigals in 1576 (in Venice, which had a much more active publishing industry). While in Rome he met Marenzio, and his early book of serious madrigals show Marenzio's influence.

Macque moved to Naples around 1585, where he became famous as the leader of the Neapolitan school. His first employment there was with the Gesualdo household, a place he remained until May 1590 (shortly before the Gesualdo murders: see Carlo Gesualdo). Some of his work at this time is dedicated to Carlo, as well as the other members of the aristocratic household: Cesare d'Avalos, father of Carlo's murdered wife, as well as Fabrizio, Carlo's father. Later in 1590, however, he became organist at Santa Casa dell'Annunziata in Naples, and in 1594 organist to the Spanish viceroy (Naples was a Spanish possession at the time); in 1599 he became maestro di cappella at his chapel. While maestro di cappella he taught many of the later Neapolitan composers, including Luigi Rossi.

Records by this composer at DIVOX

Canzon del Principe Ippolito Tartaglino | Carlo Gesualdo, Principe di Venosa | Scipione Stella | Francesco Lambardo | …

Canzon del Principe

Luigi Rossi's Manuscript (London, British Library MS Add. 30491
«Organ Masters of The Italian Renaissance» Giovanni Gabrieli | Giovanni de Macque | Antonio Valente | Girolamo Cavazzoni | …

«Organ Masters of The Italian Renaissance»

Organo V. Colombi 1533, Valvassone