Born: 548; Valenciennes, France
Died: September, 1614; Naples, Italy
Written over a time span of 40 years, the compositions of Giovanni (Jean) de Macque are gradually less conservative in style and become more experimental in his late period. As a child, de Macque sang with the imperial chapel choir at Vienna, then studied at the Jesuit college at Vienna, ultimately studying with composer Philippe de Monte. In 1574, de Macque departed for Rome, where he worked as organist at San Luigi dei Francesi (1580 - 1581).Read more De Macque's compositions of this time were primarily madrigals, conventional in style, and were probably written for the court's concerto di donne. De Macque produced two books of Madrigaletti et napolitane between 1581 - 1582. In 1584, de Macque received exceptional attention when the Pope sanctioned Compagnia dei Musici di Roma, a musical group of which de Macque was a member.
A great change in de Macque's musical career occurred in 1585 when he relocated to Naples. There, de Macque worked with the Gesualdo family through the academy of Don Fabrizio Gesualdo da Venosa and by 1590 was named second organist to Scipione Stella at the Santa Casa dell'Annunziata. In 1594, de Macque accepted the post of organist at the chapel of the Spanish Viceroy and was elevated to maestro di cappella shortly thereafter. Many of his madrigals of this time were written in the style of canzonetta, while his motets, which were published in 1596, showed signs of his interest in nontraditional techniques, including chromaticism. From that point on, de Macque continued to experiment, employing previously prohibited intervals and trying out relatively unexplored types of text underlay. De Macque's most frequently recorded instrumental works include Gagliarda prima, Prima stravaganza, and Toccata a modo di trombetta, all of which were composed in 1617. The few madrigals that have been recorded, primarily for Accent, have helped de Macque be remembered as an exceptional composer in addition to his established recognition as a superb instructor to students such as Andrea Falconieri, Francesco Lambardi, G.D. Montella, and Luigi Rossi. Read less