CLAUDIO MERULO (1533 - 1604)
One of the most famous organists of his time, Claudio Merulo held appointment as organist at St Mark’s in Venice from 1557 until 1584, subsequently entering the service of the Duke of Mantua and then of the Duke of Parma.
Merulo has been much admired for his Toccatas. He left organ music in other forms of the time, Ricercari, Canzone, motet transcriptions and organ Masses, these last published in 1568 in his Messe d’intavolatura d’organo.
Church music by Merulo includes Masses, two Magnificats and a number of motets in the Venetian style of the time.
Merulo was also a prolific composer of madrigals, leaving a considerable body of work in this form, with collections for three, four and five voices.