Orlandus Lassus

c.1532-1594. Musical composer. Probably born at Mons as Roland de Lattre, he was also known by his Italianized name, Orlando di Lasso. As a boy he was thrice kidnaped for his beautiful voice. Active in Italy and France, he spent most of his later life in Munich. No composer of the sixteenth century was more widely sought after, and his music was printed by almost every European publisher of the day. Over 1,200 of his works are known, the greater part sacred, but he also wrote French chansons, Italian madrigals, and German lieder. This latter category contains some beautiful pieces based on Lutheran chorales and Genevan Psalms, showing the appeal these had to many Catholics as well as Protestants. He composed over fifty Masses, but it is his motets that show his true greatness. Notable are his settings of the penitential Psalms. The Magnum opus musicum is a collection of 516 motets published by his sons after his death.