(b Celano, nr L’Aquila; d ?Naples, after 1581). Italian composer and priest. In his Primo libro de’ madrigali (1567; ed. in SCMad, xxii, 1996) he is called ‘Don Francesco Orso da Celano’ on the title-page, and ‘Don Celano’ in the running heads. The little that is known of his career suggests connections with Naples. He dedicated the 1567 print to a member of the Neapolitan nobility, Don Hernando Alarcon, whom Kaufman identified as the fourth Marquis of the Valle Siciliana and Renda (the dedication is signed from Naples, 25 June 1567). He composed seven three-voice canzoni napoletane published by Scotto (15669 and 156610) under the name Don Francesco Celano. Documents place him in Naples in 1573 (when he witnessed a contract for Benedetto Serafico of Nardò), and in 1580–81 (when, as prior of the Celestine of S Pietro a Maiella in Naples, he was called before the inquisition; this document has not survived).
Orso’s Primo libro, published in Venice by Claudio Merulo, contains 12 madrigals: an eight-part canzone, a seven-part sestina, and ten other compositions. Orso was fond of word painting (for example, the playful use of mensuration in Un lauro mi difese). He also used chromaticism for text-expressive purposes: there are many instances of consecutive half-steps, quickly shifting, unanticipated harmonic changes, and chords built on B and F. Probably the most intriguing aspects of the print are the notational innovations he devised for the final madrigal in the volume, his two-part setting of Petrarch’s sonnet Il cantar nov’e’l pianger (referred to on the title page as ‘due madrigali cromatici nel fine’). As he explained in a letter to his readers (an interesting theoretical statement in its own right), Orso assumed a division of the tone into two equal semitones. He used three signs: sharp (in addition to the usual F, C, and G, he used D and A, and the enharmonic B for C and E for F), natural (‘bequadro’, only in connection with B) and flat (‘bemolle’, in connection with B and E). Another unusual feature is that he used letters to indicate a half-step down from a sharpened pitch to its usual place (e.g., ‘f’ to indicate F following an F and so forth, with the exception of B, for which he uses B rather than the letter ‘b’ which could obviously have been misunderstood). He also used ‘cumulative’ sharps, in which each notated sharp raises a pitch one half-step. Thus, three successive Gs are actually: G, A, B. In addition to the book of five-voice madrigals, Orso probably published a book of six-voice madrigals that has not survived (MischiatiI).
L. Amabile: Il Santo Officio della Inquizione in Napoli (Città di Castello, 1892)
T. Kroyer: Die Anfänge der Chromatik im italienischen Madrigal des XVI. Jahrhunderts (Leipzig, 1902/R), 83ff
H.W. Kaufmann: ‘Francesco Orso da Celano, A Neapolitan Madrigalist of the Second Half of the Sixteenth Century’, Studi musicali, ix (1980), 219–69
H.W. Kaufmann: ‘Francesco Orso’s Commentary on the Chromatic Writing in his First Book of Madrigals (1567)’, Essays on J.S. Bach and Other Divers Subjects: a Tribute to Gerhard Herz, ed., R.L. Weaver (Louisville, KY, 1981), 156–64
K.A. Larson: The Unaccompanied Madrigal in Naples from 1536 to 1654 (diss., Harvard U., 1985), 293–302
J.A. Owens: Introduction to Il primo libro de’madrigali … con due madrigali cromatici nel fine (Venice, 1567), SCMad, xxii (1996)
JESSIE ANN OWENS
(b Gevgelija, 22 April 1928). Macedonian musicologist and composer. He studied music in Skopje and at the academies in Zagreb (1951–2) and Belgrade (1952–5), and composition with Pierre Wissmer at the Schola Cantorum, Paris (1961). On his return to Skopje, he held appointments as professor at the Music School (1956–63), music critic for Radio Skopje (1963–4), director of the Folklore Institute and director of opera and ballet at the Macedonian National Theatre (1964–7). He taught at the University of Skopje (1966–88), where he established the musicology department and served as dean (1977–88). He took the doctorate at the university (1986) with a dissertation on Macedonian Ars Nova. His early research on Byzantine and Slavonic music included transcriptions of early chant found in manuscripts from religious foundations in Ohrid and elsewhere in Macedonia. He was among the first writers to consider folk music to be the basis for certain Slavonic chant melodies. Tracing the development of early chant, the rise of nationalism in the 19th century and notions of Macedonian musical identity in postwar Yugoslavia, Ortakov's research led to the first scholarly study of Macedonian art music (1982). As a writer, critic and editor over a long period for the journals Razgledi, Kulturen zhivot and Zvuk, his writings have also encompassed broad cultural issues relating to music and art in the Balkans. As a composer, Ortakov has written music in a wide variety of genres, ranging from chamber and orchestral works to film music. While early works such as Gudachki kvartet (1962) draw on folk melodies, his Eleorp '76 (1976) is among the earliest electronic music composed in Macedonia and reveals the influence of western European avant-garde music. Ortakov's interest in melodic and rhythmic variation is manifest in his significant output of vocal music, culminating in Zidari (1982), a song cycle for bass, clarinet, cello and piano.
‘Création musicale macédonienne d'aujourd'hui’, Zvuk, nos.77–8 (1967)
‘La musica in Macedonia’, Quid, ii (1969)
‘Musica sacra in Macedonia, Gloria a San Cirillo’, Kulturen zhivot, xvi/2–3 (1971), 17–18
‘Kon prasanjata za potekloto i razvojnite linii na make dons koto crkovno peenje’ [The Origin and Lines of Development of Macedonian Chant], Makedonska muzika, ii (1979), 17–25
‘Nekoi prashanja za metro-ritmikata vo vizantisko-slovenskata duhovna muzika’ [Questions on the metro-rhythmics in Byzantine-Slavonic sacred music], Makedonska muzika, iii (1981), 37–42
Muzichkata umetnost vo Makedonija [Musical art in Macedonia] (Skopje, 1982)
‘Stremezhot kon objektivinot izraz vo vizantisko-slovenskata duhovna muzika’ [Towards an objective expression in Byzantine-Slavonic sacred music], Makedonska muzika, v (1984)
Works of Music for the Stage by Macedonian Composers (Skopje, 1985)
20 godini Fakultet sa muzichka umetnost [20 years of the Faculty of Music, Skopje] (Skopje, 1986)
Ars Nova Macedonica: osnovni estetichki procesi vo makedonskata umetnost od XIX vek so poseben osvrt vrz muzikata [Ars Nova Macedonica: basic aesthetic processes in Macedonian art of the 19th century, with particular reference to music] (diss., U. of Skopje, 1986)
‘Kon prashanjeto za hromatikata vo vizantisko-slovenskata muzika’ [The question of chromaticism in Byzantine-Slavonic music], Makedonska muzika, vi (1986)
ed., with I. Ivanovski and T. Skalovski: Makedonskiot Folklor vo umetnichkoto tvoreshtvo do 1945 godina [Macedonian folklore in the arts up to 1945] (Skopje, 1986)