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Francisco de Layolle
1492 - c.1540
Picture Picture
F. de Layolle
Francisco de Layolle (04/03/1492 - ca. 1540) is an Italian composer and organist who worked the most of his life in France more specific in Lyon. He was born in Florence in 1492. De Layolle joined as a young boy, as a singer the choir of the chapel of the Florentine church of Santissima Annunziata, Florence. There he started his musical career with the famous and distinguished teacher Bartolomeo degli Organi (1474-1539). Some later De Layolle even married a family member (Maddalena Ariighi) of his teacher. He was befriended with the painter Andrea del Sarto (1486-c.1531) who painted Francisco de Layolle in 1511. At that time De Layolle was already a fine organist and an excellent musician and composer. He was admired and had a lot of friends of several important men of letters in Florence. In 1518 he left Florence settling in Lyon in about 1521-22 where he stayed his further life until his death around 1540. It’s uncertain whether De Layolle was involved in a plot against the Medici. Nevertheless the conspirators fled Florence finding shelter in Lyon with Layolle. In Lyon De Laylolle was appointed organist at the cathedral of Notre Dame de Confort. During the decade 1530-40 De Layolle worked closely together with the printer and composer Jacques Moderne (c.1495- c.1560) who worked in Lyon. Most of his sacred music was published by Moderne but unfortunately all six volumes are lost. De Layolle entered fully into the artistic and intellectual life of Lyon. He was part of the Lyonese community and often making music with its members. De Layolle was one of the first Italian composers with among Constanzo Festa (c.1495-1545) who merged the South-Netherlandish style with the Italian harmonic style. De Layolle wrote more secular works. Two books of his madrigals (Venticinque canzoni a cinque voci 1540) fortunately survived. De Layolle uses both the parody and cantus-firmus techniques in his sacred music. Some sacred music survived in two liber decem missarum issued 1532 and 1540. De Layolle passed away around 1540 in Lyon. His date of death is uncertain but in the ‘Cinquante canzoni’ published by Jacques Moderne in 1540 we noted a lament ‘Alma felice & lieta (Per la morte de M. F. Layolle)’ on the death of Francisco de Layolle!
Author:Wim Goossens
Libera me, Domine de morte
Period:Early Renaissance
Composed in:1532
Musical form:Musical form: Motet a 5 vocibus inaequales CAATB
Text/libretto:Text/libretto: Latin from the Officium Defunctorum
The ”Libera me, Domine de morte” is in general a plainchant from the Exsequiarum Ordo (in Exsequiis) more specific a Responsorium sung during the final blessing of the coffin on its catafalque. This Libera me (there are four (4) plain-chant variations known) is an old Responsorium and sung in the part Absolutio super tulum and is published in the old Liber Usualis (edition 1936) pages 1767 – 1768. This Libera me is also used for the burial service which follows the Mass for the Dead, so a ceremony after the Mass for the Death. Following the text Francisco de Layolle uses only a few part, the first two sentences of this Respond. See for the full text of the Respond libera me, Domine de morte, the Libera me in C-Major set by Felice Anerio (c.1560-1614) and published at this website. This motet “Libera me, Domine de morte aeterna” is written by De Layolle in short polyphonic imitative style for five voices (DQATB). In stylistic form the belonging plainchant is quoted in long notes.
De Layolle sets in this motet a very special canon (a two parts canon) in the fifth below, which method is called ‘canon in subdiapente’. It’s very interesting to see and to hear the manner in which De Layolle waves this two part ‘canon in subdiapente’ into this motet. Of course De Layolle in good tradition uses word-painting as often used by his colleagues in the South-Netherlands: Bar 32-33 in Bassus the wording ‘caeli movendi sunt’. De Layolle paints two ascending lines with six eights G-f on ‘caeli’ followed by three ascending eights d-f on’ movendi’. Sometimes De Layolle uses extra flats. This short motet consists out of 66 bars and is set in G-Dorian mode. This motet is published in Liber decem missarum (Jacques Moderne) a praeclaris musicis contectus in MDXXXII and in Liber decem missarum a praeclaris et maxima nominis musicis contextus MDXL.
Author:Wim Goossens
R. Libera me, Domine, de morte aeterna in die illa tremenda
quando coeli movendi sunt et terra dum veneris judicare saeculum per ignem.

R. Deliver me, O Lord, from eternal death, on that fearful day,
when the heavens and the earth are moved, when you will come to judge the world through fire.
Contributor:Wim Goossens