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The works of Giovanni Antonio Cangiasi

Born in Milan, the composer Giovanni Antonio Cangiasi was a Franciscan friar, and composer of vocal works and liturgical music. He was also an organist, and served at various churches throughout Italy, including the Vercelli cathedral in 1590, San Francesco in Milan in 1602, and the church of Castelnuovo Scrivia in 1614. He published his most renown work of instrumental music, Scherzi forastieri, when he was stationed at the Franciscan abbey at Locarno in 1611. This is a collection of four-part instrumental scherzos, which, in reality, are instrumental canzonas and ricercars in the Milanese tradition, which reveal Caniasi's compositional skills and mastery of counterpoint.. His compositions typically feature intricate vocal lines, rich harmonies, and contrapuntal techniques characteristic of the Baroque period. Cangiasi probably died at Castelnuovo Scrivia after 1614.

Year Published
Original Title
English Translation
Li ariosi Magnificat a otto voci
The Magnificat airs for eight voices
before 1596? Undici madrigali per organo, a quattro voci Eleven madrigals for organ, for four voices
Il secondo libro delle canzonette a trevoci
The second book of songs for three voices
1606; preface, 1607
Sacrae cantiones tre voci concinendae
Sacred songs sung for three voices
Psalmodia ecclesiastica concinenda cum quattuor vocum, id est omnes psalmi... scilicet tria Magnificat a quinque-septem vocum
Ecclesiastical psalms sung with 4 voices... three Magnificats for five-seven voices
Melodia sacra quattuor et quattuor vocum cum duobus moctectis ad modum dialogi, et uno cum canzon francese; Libro II dei mottetti
Sacred melody for four and five voices with two dialogue motets, and one with a French canzon; Book II of motets
Scherzi forastieri per suonare a quattro voci con la partitura per l'organo, opera 8
Scherzi forastieri for four voices with partitura for organ, opus 8

1. Iain Fenlon. Giovanni Antonio Cangiasi. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. New York: Grove Dictionaries, Inc., 2001.
2. Francesco Antonio Costa, la vita musicale a Genova nel primo seicento e l'atiività dei frati minori conventuali in Liguria. Quadrivium. Studi di filologia e musicologia medievale, Nova Serie VI, 1995.


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