Paolo Agostini

Paolo Agostini was an Italian composer who stands out in relief from too many of his contemporary countrymen. Paolo Agostini was born at Valerano in 1593, and was a pupil, at Rome, of Bernardino Nanini, whose daughter he married.

After being organist of S. Trinita de’ Pellegrini, S. Maria in Trasteverre, and S. Lorenzo in Damaso, he succeeded Ugolini as Maestro at the Vatican Chapel, in 1627. He died in Sept 1629.

The extant published works of Agostini consist of two volumes of Psalms for four and eight voices (printed by Soldi, Rome, 1619); two volumes of Magnificats for one, two and three voices (ib. 1620); and five volumes of Masses for four, five, eight, and twelve voices, published (Robletti, Rome) in,1624, 1625, 1626, 1627 and 1628 respectively.

He was one of the first to employ large numbers of voices in several choirs. Ingenuity and elegance are his prevailing characteristics; but that he could and did rise beyond these, is proved by an ‘Agnus Dei’ for eight voices in canon, which was published by P. Martini in his ‘Saggio di Contrappunto Fugato,’ and which is allowed to be a masterpiece.

He contributed a dialogue to G. Giamberti’s ‘Poesie diverse’ (1623). The fame, however, of Agostini rests upon his unpublished pieces, which form the great bulk of his productions. They are preserved partly in the Corsini Library, and partly in the Coolection of the Vatican. A motet by Agostini is given in Proske’s ‘Musica Divina’.