Giovanni Croce

Giovanni Croce (also Ioanne a Cruce Clodiensis, Zuanne Chiozotto) (1557 – May 15, 1609) was an Italian composer of the late Renaissance, of the Venetian School. He was particularly prominent as a madrigalist, one of the few among the Venetians other than Monteverdi.


He was born in Chioggia, a fishing town on the Adriatic coast south of Venice, the same town as Gioseffo Zarlino, and he came to Venice early, becoming a member of the boy's choir at St. Mark's under Zarlino's direction by the time he was eight years old. Zarlino evidently found him in a cathedral choir in Chioggia, and recruited him for St. Mark's. [Arnold, p. 35] Croce may have been a parish priest at the church of Santa Maria Formosa, and he took holy orders in 1585; during this period he also served as a singer at St. Mark's. He evidently maintained some connection, probably as a director of music, with Santa Maria Formosa alongside his duties at St. Mark's.

After the death of Zarlino, he became assistant "maestro di cappella"; this was during the tenure of Baldassare Donato. When Donato died in 1603 Croce took over the principal job as "maestro di cappella" but the singing standards of the famous St. Mark's cathedral declined under his direction, most likely due more to his declining health than his lack of musicianship. He died in 1609; the position of "maestro di cappella" went to Giulio Cesare Martinengo until 1613, at which time Monteverdi took the job.

Music and influence

Croce wrote less music in the grand polychoral style than Andrea and Giovanni Gabrieli, and as a result his music has not maintained the same fame to the present day; however he was renowned as a composer at the time, and was a large influence on music both in Italy and abroad. As a composer of sacred music he was mostly conservative, writing "cori spezzati" in the manner of Adrian Willaert, and parody masses more like the music composed by the members of the contemporary Roman School. However, later in his career he wrote some music in a forward-looking concertato style, which attempted to combine the innovations of Viadana with the grand Venetian polychoral manner. Throughout his career, though, both in sacred and secular music, he wrote music which was easy to perform, possibly because he wrote it for his parish church rather than for the virtuoso singers of St. Mark's: for that reason much of it, especially the secular music, has remained popular with amateurs.

Stylistically, Croce was more influenced by Andrea Gabrieli than his nephew Giovanni, even though they were exact contemporaries; Croce preferred the emotional coolness, the Palestrina clarity and the generally lighter character of Andrea's music. Croce was particularly important in the development of the canzonetta and the madrigal comedy, and wrote a large quantity of easily singable, popular, and often hilarious music. Some of his collections are satirical, for example setting to music ridiculous scenes at Venetian carnivals ("Mascarate piacevoli et ridicolose per il carnevale", 1590), some of which are in dialect.

Croce was one of the first composers to use the term capriccio, as a title for one of the canzonettas in his collection "Triaca musicale" ("musical cure for animal bites") of 1595. Both this and the "Mascarate piacevoli" collections were intended to be sung in costumes and masks at Venetian carnivals.

His canzonettas and madrigals were influential in the Netherlands and in England, where they were reprinted in the second book of "Musica transalpina" (1597), one of the collections which inaugurated the mania for madrigal composition there. Croce's music remained popular in England and Thomas Morley specifically singled him out as a master composer; indeed Croce may have been the biggest single influence on Morley. John Dowland visited him in Italy as well.


References and further reading

* Articles "Giovanni Croce, Canzonetta" in "The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians", ed. Stanley Sadie. 20 vol. London, Macmillan Publishers Ltd., 1980. ISBN 1-56159-174-2
* Gustave Reese, "Music in the Renaissance". New York, W.W. Norton & Co., 1954. ISBN 0-393-09530-4
* "The New Harvard Dictionary of Music", ed. Don Randel. Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press, 1986. ISBN 0-674-61525-5
* Denis Arnold, "Giovanni Gabrieli and the Music of the Venetian High Renaissance." London, Oxford University Press, 1979. ISBN 0-19-315232-0


External links

* [ Description of Croce's masquerade music] , by DonnaMae Gustafson (Ph.D., 1992, on Giovanni Croce)

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Giovanni Croce —     Giovanni Croce     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Giovanni Croce     Composer, b. at Chioggia near Venice in 1557; d. 15 May, 1609. Under the tutelage at Venice of Gioseffo Zarlino, Croce became one of the most noted composers of the Venetian… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Giovanni Croce — (1557 15 mai 1609) était un compositeur italien de la fin de la Renaissance, membre de l École de Venise. Il est principalement connu pour ses madrigaux. Il apparaît aussi sous les noms de Ioanne a Cruce Clodiensis et Zuanne Chiozotto.… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Giovanni Croce — (* 1557 in Chioggia; † 1609) war ein italienischer Komponist, Kapellmeister und Priester der venezianischen Renaissance. Cantate Domino Croce war Schüler von Zarlino. Er wirkte seit 1565 als Sänger, seit 1594 als Vizekapellmeister und seit 1603… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Croce — is the Italian word for Cross, may refer to Adrian James Croce (album), self titled album by A. J. Croce Basilica di Santa Croce di Firenze, church in Florence, Italy Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, basilica in Rome, Italy Place Piazza Santa Croce,… …   Wikipedia

  • Croce — steht für Croce (Haute Corse), eine Gemeinde auf Korsika Croce oder Crocé ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Benedetto Croce (1866–1952), italienischer Philosoph und Historiker Bernard Crocé Spinelli (1871–1932), französischer Komponist und …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Giovanni Verga — Giovanni Carmelo Verga (Catania, 2 de septiembre 1840 – Catania, 27 de enero 1922) fue un escritor italiano, considerado el mayor exponente de la corriente literaria verista. Giovanni Carmelo Verga …   Wikipedia Español

  • Giovanni gentile — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Gentile (homonymie). Giovanni Gentile (Castelvetrano, le 30 mai 1875 Florence, le 15 avril 1944) était un philosophe italien, idéaliste et néo hégélien, proche de Benedetto Croce. Il se décrit lui même comme le… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Giovanni Da San Giovanni — cycle de 13 peintures sur la façade du Palazzo dell Antella, place Santa Croce (1619) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Giovanni Mannozzi — Giovanni da San Giovanni cycle de 13 peintures sur la façade du Palazzo dell Antella, place Santa Croce (1619) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Giovanni Amendola — (* 15. April 1882 in Neapel; † 7. April 1926 in Cannes) war ein italienischer Journalist und Politiker. In den ersten Jahren des italienischen Faschismus gehörte er zu den herausragenden liberalen Antifaschisten des Landes. Amendola starb 1926 an …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.