Adrian Willaert (c. 1490 – 1562) was a
Netherlandish composer of the Renaissance and founder
of the Venetian School. He was one of the most
representative members of the generation of northern
composers who moved to Italy and transplanted the
polyphonic Franco-Flemish style there.
Willaert was one of the most versatile composers of the
Renaissance, writing music in almost every extant style
and form. In force of personality, and with his central
position as maestro di cappella at St. Mark's, he
became the most influential musician in Europe between
the death of Josquin and the time of Palestrina. Some
of Willaert's motets and chanzoni franciose a quarto
sopra doi (double canonic chansons) had been published
as early as 1520 in Venice. Willaert owes much of his
fame in sacred music to his motets.
He is credited as the inventor of the antiphonal style
from which the polychoral style of the Venetian school
evolved. As there were two choir lofts — one to each
side of the main altar of St. Mark's, both provided
with an organ —, Willaert divided the choral body into
two sections, using them either antiphonally or
simultaneously. De Rore, Zarlino, Andrea Gabrieli,
Donato, and Croce, Willaert's successors, all
cultivated this style.
Intended for Chorus (SATB) and although incomplete, I
reconstituted an ending and created this Arrangement of
the "Quem dicunt homines esse filium hominis? (Whom do
men say that the Son of man is?) for String Quartet (2
Violins, Viola & Cello).