Orazio Benevolo or Benevoli (19 April 1605 - 17 June 1672), was a Franco-Italian composer of large scaled polychoral sacred choral works (e.g., one work featured forty-eight vocal and instrumental lines).
He was born in Rome, to a French baker and confectioner, Robert Venouot, which name was Italianized to Benevolo. Benevolo was a choirboy at San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome (1617-23). Later, he assumed posts as maestro di cappella at Santa Maria in Trastevere (from 1624); then, at Santo Spirito in Sassia (from 1630); and, eventually, at his old church, San Luigi dei Francesi (from 1638). Benevolo served as Kapellmeister in the court of Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria from 1644 to 1646. In 1646, Benevoli returned to Rome, where he was choirmaster at Santa Maria Maggiore and at the Cappella Giulia of St. Peter's Basilica. He was made Guardiano of the Vatican's Congregazione di Santa Cecilia in the years: 1654, 1665 and 1667. He died in Rome.
His pupils included: Ercole Bernabei, Antimo Liberati and Paolo Lorenzani.
He composed Masses, motets, Magnificats, and other sacred vocal works. Much of Benevolo's fame as a composer has rested largely on his supposed composition of the fifty-three part Missa Salisburgensis, which musicologists believed was first performed by Benevolo in Salzburg Cathedral in 1628. Nevertheless, external and internal evidence have demonstrated that the Mass is in fact the work of composer Heinrich Ignaz Biber.
Works, editions and recordings:
Benevoli's sacred compositions frequently make use of four or more choirs. Many of Benevoli's works are massive and in the Colossal Baroque style. Sixteen masses for 8 to 16 voices survive. Little of the music of Benevoli has been performed or recorded in modern times.
Orazio Benevolo - Sacred Music - Missa Azzolina Magnificat Dixit Dominus, Le Concert Spirituel Niquet. Naxos,
Missa Tira Corda a 16 Tölzer Knabenchor dir. Gerhard Schmidt-Gaden 2010