Vento, Ivo [Yvo] de

(b between c1543 and 1545; d Munich, 1575). Composer and organist possibly of Flemish birth, active in Germany. He was taken from Antwerp to Munich to be a choirboy at the Bavarian court, probably in September 1556. Suggestions by scholars that he was of Spanish origin or that his name was a Latinized form of ‘De Winde’ have been abandoned; there is as yet no proof of Huber's hypothesis that he belonged to a family originally from Limoges and was related to (though not the same person as) Ivo Barry and to Leonardo Barré, singers in the papal chapel in the second quarter of the 16th century. A Johannes de Vento was connected with the Antwerp printer Plantin in the 1550s; since Lassus was in Antwerp at this time and left for Munich at about the time that Vento seems to have done, it is possible that he took Vento with him. Vento joined the Bavarian Hofkapelle at a time of reorganization during which Flemish singers were newly in fashion. Records show that his father was paid for the boy's service over a three-year period ending in September 1559. In 1560 he was sent at Duke Albrecht's expense to Venice, presumably to study the organ with Claudio Merulo. Evidence that he learnt Italian musical ways and had joined the circle of musicians round Merulo may be seen in pieces he contributed to Venetian anthologies of the 1560s, including a six-part battaglia in a volume of greghesche of 1564. During these years he may also have written four pieces – three motets and a madrigal – whose texts had previously been set by Ivo Barry; these works have led to much confusion and speculation about the identity or possible relationship of the two composers.

On his return to Munich, Vento, now considered an Italian and an instrumentalist, a combination perennially in fashion at Munich, was appointed third organist in the Hofkapelle (the first two organists were both Italian). Though he is not mentioned in Lassus's correspondence, he may have studied with Lassus; his masses, surviving in manuscript copies of the 1560s and 1570s, show Lassus's influence, and a number of the motets in his five-part Latinae cantiones (1570) are to texts previously set by Lassus. In style, however, his works, whether to Latin or German texts, are not very close to Lassus. By 1568, the year of the splendid wedding ceremonies for the marriage of Duke Wilhelm, Albrecht V's heir, Vento had achieved a certain reputation; he is mentioned in Massimo Troiano's account of these festivities and is included among the ‘virtuosi’ of the court chapel in a collection of madrigals that Troiano assembled in 1569. After Wilhelm's marriage he followed him to his court at Landshut, where he served as choirmaster for a year. He resumed his post at Munich in 1569 and held it, sometimes as sole organist, until his death. The last years of his life were marked by a steady stream of publications, comprising 98 motets and 112 German songs in 11 volumes, most of them dedicated to members of the Wittelsbach ducal family.

Vento's motets apparently did not create a lasting impression, nor have they yet been seriously studied. His songs, which were often reprinted, exerted a considerable influence on Lechner and even Hassler and figure as representative pieces in many 19th- and 20th-century collections of Renaissance lieder. He was conservative in taste, choosing texts from the early 16th century rather than from the Italianized poetry of his own time, and avowing a ‘Pythagorean’ preference for pure music over madrigalian conceits (see the preface to his Neue teutsche Lieder of 1570/71). The lieder are thus less strikingly individual than those of Lassus, but they are attractive and expertly written, with an orderly texture and some harmonic colouring, perhaps of Venetian origin, which distinguishes them from lieder of the generation of Senfl. Two manuscripts in Perugia (I-PEc 431, 322) contain respectively a canon and a set of Regole del contrapunto ascribed to ‘ Ivo’. Whether these rules are by Ivo de Vento or Ivo Barry is unclear; whoever wrote them knew only eight modes and appears not to have read Zarlino.

all published in Munich

sacred vocal
Latinae cantiones, quas vulgo moteta vocant, 4vv (1569)
Latinae cantiones, quas vulgo moteta vocant, 5vv (1570)
Liber motetorum, 4vv (1571)
Mutetae aliquot sacrae, 4vv (1574)

3 masses, 4–6vv, D-As, Mbs (1, Surrexit Pastorbonus, also attrib. Lassus)

secular vocal
Neue teutsche Liedlein, 5vv (1569)
Neue teutsche Lieder, 4–6vv (1570); 1 ed. H. Mönkemeyer, Antiqua Chorbuch, i (Mainz, 1951)
Neue teutsche Lieder, 4vv, samt zweien Dialogen (1570, altered to 1571); 1 ed. P. Winter, Lob des Weines (Frankfurt, 1969); 8 ed. in Anthologies of Renaissance Music, viii (London, 1977)
Neue teutsche Lieder, 3vv (1572); 2 ed. in Antiqua Chorbuch, i–ii (1951); 6 ed. M. Rössler, Ivo de Vento: Geistliche Liedsätze (Neuhausen-Stuttgart, 1973); 8 ed. in Anthologies of Renaissance Music, vii (London, 1978)
Schöne auserlesene neue teutsche Lieder, 4vv (1572)
Teutsche Lieder, 5vv, samt einem Dialogo, 8vv (1573); 1 ed. P. Winter, Lob des Weines (1969)
5 motetae, 2 madrigalia, [2] gallicae cantiones … et 4 germanicae, 5, 8, 9vv (1575); 2 ed. in Cw, xxx (1934/R)

8 Italian secular works, 3, 5, 6vv, 1564
16 (ed. S. Cisilino, Celebri raccolte musicali venete del cinquecento, i, Padua, 1974), 1565 12 , 1566 3 , 1569 19 , 1569 20 , 1575 11

MGG1 (H. Osthoff)
M. Troiano: Discorsi delli trionfi … nelle nozze dell'illustriss. et eccellentiss. S. Duca Guglielmo (Munich, 1568); facs.
with Ger. trans. and commentary by H. Leuchtmann (Munich, 1980)
K. Huber: Ivo de Vento (ca. 1540–1575) (Lindenberg im Allgäu, 1918)
R. Casimiri: ‘Le “Regole del contraponto” di Ivo de Vento?’, Cantantibus organis (Rome, 1924), 399–410
H. Osthoff: Die Niederländer und das deutsche Lied, 1400–1640 (Berlin, 1938/R)
A. De Groote: ‘Ivo de Vento und seine Liber mottetorum (München, 1571): Ein Überblick’, Musik in Bayern, xxxiii
(1986), 139–49


© Oxford University Press 2004