Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525 - 1594) was born in Palestrina, Italy. He is considered to be the most important Italian composer of the sixteenth century and furthermore as the greatest composer of catholic church music, including more than 100 masses. He worked for several popes as Master of a Chapel. Palestrina composed his "Stabat Mater a 8" for Pope Gregory XIV. It soon established itself as one of the most admired pieces in the repertory of the Pope's private chapel. By the seventeenth century it was traditionally sung in the Sistine Chapel at the Offertory on Palm Sunday. In 1848 Richard Wagner made an adaptation of Palestrina's Stabat Mater, which can be sung more easily by larger choirs.
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