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Lupus Hellinck (Composer)

Born: c1494 - ?Axel
Died: c14 Jan 1541 - Bruges, Belgium

(Joannes) Lupus [Wulfaert] Hellinck [Hellingk], was a Flemish composer of the earlier part of the 16th century. His name is variously given as Joannes Lupus, Lupus Hellinck, Joannes Lupi, and sometimes Lupus or Lupi simply. Only once, in a publication of 1546, is the full name given. It was for some time uncertain whether Joannes Lupus and Joannes Lupi were one and the same person, but the identification seems now to be satisfactorily established.

There is still some difficulty in reconciling the conflicting statements as to the appointments which Lupus Hellinck hold. It would appear, however, to be sufficiently made out that he was for a. time choirmaster at Cambrai, and afterwards at Bruges. According to more recent sources he was Choirboy at St. Donatian in Bruges from 1506 to 1511. He was verger, then cleric and singer there, from 1513 to 1515 and from 1519 to 1521. Later he was choirmaster at Notre Dame in Bruges from 1521 to 1523, and choirmaster at St. Donatian from 1523 to his death.

Lupus Hellinck wrote under a half dozen French chansons and fewer Flemish songs. The rest of his works are sacred: eleven German chorales, about fifteen motets, and, his most important compositions, thirteen parody Masses.

In a publication of 1545 there is a 'Déploration de Lupus,' or Lament on his death, composed by Baston. This has been reprinted in Maldeghem's Trésor, 1876. The only work which contains compositions by Lupus exclusively is a book of Motets, Paris, 1542. His other works, which are fairly numerous, are contained in the large collections which issued from the French, German and Venetian presses between 1530 and 1550. From about 1530 to 1545 Lupus would appear to have held the same position in general esteem that Clemens non Papa afterwards held from 1545 to 1560. One of the choir-books of the Sistine Chapel, written between 1530 and 1540, contains an unpublished Mass by Lupus on a Flemish song Min Vriendinne. Ten of his masses were published, and Q.-L. enumerates a few more remaining in MS. Of the masses Ambros speaks somewhat disparagingly, with the exception of one entitled Panis quem ego dabo, which, from the boldness of its themes, he describes as very remarkable and peculiar, but which is further distinguished by the fact that Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina did not disdain to borrow the themes of his Mass Panis quem ego dabo from the motet of Lupus beginning with these words, on which no doubt Lupus's own Mass was based. The Mass Iam non dicam Ambros describes as a study in dissonances, not altogether successful, but otherwise interesting. To the motets, on the other hand, Ambros gives the highest praise. There is one, more especially, which fully deserves all the praise Ambros gives, a Laudate pueri a 5, which may be seen in Kade and Eitner's reprint in score of Ott's Liederbuch, 1544. In it there is nothing of the hardness either in melody or harmony usually associated with our idea of the times before Palestrina; the themes are melodious and interesting throughout. Palestrina himself might have written the work. The fifth voice has a cantus firmus with long notes, with only the words Laudate pueri, corde et animo (Ambros gives this wrong). The composer takes the liberty of adding the words corde et animo in the other parts also to the various Laudate psalm-verses which he sets. This might be taken to imply that he himself had written this motet 'with heart and mind.' Other works of Lupus are eleven 4-voice settings of German sacred songs, contained in Georg Rhau's large collection of Deutsche geistliche Gesange für Schulen, 1544, one of which, a deeply expressive setting of Markgraf Casimir's lied, Capitäin Herr Gott, is also in Ott's Liederbuch of 1544. Lastly, there are about 26 French chansons, and three with Flemish words, contained in the collections of Attaingnant and Susato. Three very pretty specimens, Revins vers moi, Il n'est trésor, Plus revenir ne puis, have been reprinted by Eitner in his selection of Ghansons, 1899.


Source: HOASM Website; Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians (1952 Edition; Author: J.R. Milne)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (April 2006)

Use of Chorale Melodies in his works


Chorale Melody


Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir, Setting for 4 Voices

Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir

Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin, 4-pt chorale setting

Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin


Links to other Sites

HOASM: Lupus [Wulfaert] Hellinck




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