Moritz / Maurice, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel (1572-1632, German)

Maurice/Moritz, Langrave (or Duke) of Hesse-Kassel, part of the Holy Roman Empire (not to be confused with the langraviate of Hesse-Marburg!), was an important figure in the history of German music in Renaissance-to-Baroque era, for being a great patron of music, a supporter of Dowland and Schütz, greatly admired by them in return (Dowland praised his “princely virtues”) and with the reputation of being an accomplished composer himself (but the reputation may have been part flattery). Not that it helped him or his lineage: he ended in total bankruptcy and had to abdicate in favor of his son. Well, the music of Dowland and Schütz endures, and if Moritz made a name for himself in the eyes of posterity, it is for that rather than his accomplishments at war or administration. Mozart is forever, but who remembers (without having to check it on Wikipedia) the name of the Austria Emperor who told him “too many notes, Herr Mozart!” ?

I only have a small and not very significant piece of Moritz in my collection, his instrumental Pavana del Sgr. Guilhelmo Keudelio, part of a fine CD mainly devoted to the music of the French and much-traveled composer Charles Tessier, another great admirer of Moritz, “Carnets de voyage” by Le Poème Harmonique under Vincent Dumestre, Alpha 100.