A to Z: O is for Marbrianus de Orto

A2Z-BADGE-0002015-LifeisGood-230_zps660c38a0 Today is day 15 of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge in which I attempt to blog every day (excepting Sundays) throughout the month of April. For this challenge, I am curating a collection of “classical” music pieces, which are lesser known or by lesser known composers (to me at least).

Today’s composer is Marbrianus de Orto (1460-1529).


Wow. Had never hear of Marbrianus until yesterday. He was the illegitimate son of a priest (go figure) who lived a hundred years before Monteverdi. A contemporary and probably a friend of Josquin Des Prez, he also composed motets, songs, and lamentations. De orto was an Italian translation of his birth name, du Jardin (of the garden). Why is this important? Despite being illegitimate he was singled out for his voice by a nobleman who installed him in his court. After the nobleman died, he ended up in Rome the darling of a couple of Popes. He’s noted for being on of the first to compose a canonical (row row row your boat) setting of the Catholic mass. This music is the missing link between medieval and Renaissance and unlike some of the joyous Renaissance pieces like those of say Praetorius, Mabrianus sounds dignified, grounded, yet deeply moving. Not sure why Jeremiah lamented. Anyone know?

Lamentatio Jeremie Prophete a 4 by Marbrianus de Orto

The composer’s Wikipedia page Marbrianus de Orto

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