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Krzysztof Klabon

Krzysztof Klabon was possibly born in Königsberg, around 1550. During his childhood he was a singer in the choir at the court in Cracow; later (in 1565) he was transferred to the group of instrumentalists at same court. Having been a composer, lutenist, instrumentalist and singer, it is probably Klabon's playing on the lute that he is most renowned for as seen nowadays - he may count among the first five to six most important players of early music for the lute in Poland. There are records of his performances of songs to the lute at the court for festive days and celebrations.

Ca. 1576 he became the director of the royal chapel which he remained until 1601 with one interruption of three years when Marenzio was in charge of the group instead of him. After his final year as master of the chapel he was again replaced by a musician of Italian origin, however, remained in charge of the Polish part of the chapel still. He twice travelled to Sweden with his king and the last information we have of his life dates from 1616 which makes the assumption quite likely that he either died this year or shortly thereafter. What is left of his compositional oeuvre is not too much: One cycle of lute songs (to texts by Grochowski) entitled "Piesni Slowienskiey: na teraznicysze pod Byczyna zwyciestwo" ("Songs of the Slavonic Calliope: on the recent victory at Byczyna"), one sacred piece, the five-part "Kyrie paschalis" and the soprano part of one other, "Officium Sancta Maria". Apart from that a few texts by Kochanowski, a leading writer of Klabon's time, that Klabon sang, survived until our times, but these were printed without the music to which they were supposed to be sung.

Information supplied by Monika Fahrnberger
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