Kapsberger, Johannes Hieronymus


German lute-player and composer, who spent most of his life in Italy, where he was a rival of Palestrina. The date of his birth is unknown and he is first heard of through some of his songs published in 1604. Some authorities give the date of his death as 1650, but this is uncertain, as 1633 is the last positive record of him. He played several instruments of the lute variety. He lived in Venice and Rome and other Italian cities, was a great friend of the Jesuits, and a follower and flatterer of Pope Urban VIII., whose verses he set to music. He tried to supplant Palestrina with the Pope, but as the singers in the Papal Choir strenuously objected the attempt was unsuccessful. He was a good musician, however, and wrote simple and clever music for the lute and voice. He published Intavolatura di Chitarrone, and Villanelle, books of vocal music and accompaniments; an Apotheosis of Ignatius Loyola; Fetonte, a musical drama; a Wedding Chorus; motets; and other works. He assisted Athanasius Kircher with his great work, Musurgia.