Jacquet of Mantua

Jacquet of Mantua


• 1483 1559


Jacquet of Mantua spent his life serving the church in Italy. He was the single most important polyphonic composer of sacred music between Josquin and Palestrina. He served in the house of Rangoni and the Este court at Ferrara. Although he was the master of the chapel at Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral in Mantua for the Este court, Jacquet's patronage came from the Ercole Cardinal, Bishop of Mantua. The Bishop was a stalwart Counter-Reformationist and Jacquet accordingly specialized in sacred music. Genres of his compositions included masses, motets, anthems, antiphons, responsories, and hymns. Though not an innovator Jacquet was an artisan above reproach. He received praise from contemporaries and friends like Willaert and inspired later works by Lassus and Palestrina, to name just a few. Both his masses and motets demonstrate noted shifts in his work. In the masses Jacquet began with strict parody while he later employed acute variations and the use of a great deal free material. The motets demonstrated a change as well. His early works look to the past for inspiration with liturgical themes while his later motets employed non-liturgical texts even saluting contemporary heads of church and state.