Cornelis Verdonck (1563 – 5 July 1625) was a Flemish composer of the late Renaissance. He was one of the last members of the Franco-Flemish school of polyphony, and was a notable composer of madrigals in a style that blended both Italian and native Netherlandish idioms.
Verdonck was a late representative of the Italian madrigal style in northern Europe, and was unusual in that he wrote madrigals in Italian without ever going to Italy. Stylistically he was relatively conservative, shunning the innovations of the early Baroque around 1600, including monody and the basso continuo, preferring instead to work in the polyphonic vocal style of the late 16th century. In the preface to a 1599 collection of madrigals, he wrote scathingly of the decline of musical standards in his native land, which had once been the musical center of Europe: 'whether these sweet harmonies have been interrupted by the tempests of Mars, who has too long been master of these provinces, or whether music has ceased to be esteemed by those who, filled with confusion ..., cannot value what is full of agreement and harmony.'
Most of Verdonck's surviving output consists of secular music, and he wrote both French chansons and Italian madrigals. Some of the chansons are for unusually large groups of voices (for example, his publication Poésies françaises de divers autheurs mises en musique par C. Verdonck of 1599 is for 10 independent voices), and the texture of his music is mostly contrapuntal, with sometimes lively syncopation. One of his madrigals, Donna belle e gentile, fitted with English words (as 'Lady your look so gentle'), appeared in the 1588 Musica transalpina collection by Nicholas Yonge which inaugurated the madrigal vogue in England.
Verdonck also wrote sacred music; his output includes several motets and a Magnificat, which are scored for four, five, or six voices. The Magnificat (1585, for five voices) survives in the original copper engraving. Text source : Wikipedia (Hide extended text) ... (Read all)