Palestrina.jpg Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594) is often considered the greatest composer of liturgical music. His music stands midway between ancient chant and the music of the Baroque composers, like Bach. There is an angelic sound to his music that makes the listener feels as though he or she is standing in heaven with a choir of angels. Played softly, it creates a personal sanctuary for prayer and Bible reading.

Two principles that Palestrina followed in his spiritual compositions were:

The elimination of all themes of reminiscent of, or resembling, secular music.
The rejection of musical forms and elaborations tending to mutilate or obscure the liturgical text.

Palestrina-Piano.jpg Throughout his life, Palestrina composed 105 masses and more than 250 motets other sacred music. Bach arranged one of Palestrina's masses for voices and instruments. Palestrina died in 1594.