Friday, August 19, 2011

Salamone Rossi (August 19, 1570)

Rossi wrote both secular and Jewish music during his career in Mantua, Italy, where a Jewish community thrived (as much as any Jewish community could thrive in the era of the invention of the Ghetto and shrinking tolerance.) He wrote the first known polyphonic (multi-voice) settings of Jewish texts. He was twice given an exemption from the regulation that Jews had to wear a distinguishing badge.

The hypothesis that Salamone Rossi was born on August 19, 1570, comes from a possible code hidden in his first published collection, the Canzonette (1589). He may have died in the sack of Mantua and destruction of its Ghetto in 1630 – there is no evidence of his composing after 1628.

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