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Jan Brandt (1554 - 1602)

Jan Brandt was most likely born in Poznań in the year 1554. He entered the Jesuit order in 1571 and was ordained seven years later, before he went to Rome for further theological research and studies for the first time. In 1584 he returned to his native country to carry out various tasks as a member of the convents of Cracow, Pułtusk, Poznań and Vilnius. By 1599 he returned to Rome coming back in 1601 when he was appointed superior of the Jesuit College at Lwów; in this position he remained until his death on May 27, 1602. He was an exceptional theologian and preacher and an outstanding Jesuit of the Counter-Reformation period as well.

Even though none of his musical works were known until recently, it was accepted (following the historians) that he most likely was a composer, too. Only by 1972 works from his hand were found in the manuscripts of Uppsala University; especially pieces contained in the 1620 organ tablature formerly having belonged to the Jesuit College in Riga, the four-part group "Coelestes merces", but a few others also. These pieces may come from the now lost collection "Pieśni różne pospolite o różnych pobożnych potrzebach roku 1601" of 1601 that was still mentioned in some older bibliographies. The works are good examples of late Renaissance polyphony and include homophonic parts as well.

Information supplied by Monika Fahrnberger
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