Cambio, Perissone

Geboortedatum: c.1520
Sterfdatum: c.1562

Perissone Cambio (c.1520-c.1562) was a Franco-Flemish composer and singer of the Renaissance, working in Venice. In literature he is often mentioned by his first name only (like Josquin), either because this name was rather unusual, or because he was so renowned that Perisonne sufficed. In the original book the name Pieresson also occurred, e.g. the dedication in the book is signed with Pieresson. His family name must have been italianized from Wessels or something like it (cambio - change).
Like in so many other Early Music composers’ histories very little or nothing is known about his youth or education. The historical records of Perissone are not unanimous about the region he came from: Flanders or the French speaking part of the Netherlands (including the present northern France in those days). This book of madrigals in Italian can’t help us either, because in motets one can hear the emphasis of the Latin lyrics on the last syllable when used by a Franch-speaking composer; not so in Italian madrigals.
Perissone, like so many Flemish musicians, moved to Italy to study with Adrian Willaert in Venice, because of his reputation as a teacher. When he was 30 years old he was already a prolific composer of secular music, unlike the other musicians in St. Mark’s Cathedral around him (Girolamo Parabosco, Baldassare Donato and Cipriano de Rore) who wrote mainly sacred works. If he has written any sacred music it has not survived. He was a renowned singer in St. Mark’s although first unpaid because there was no vacancy, but the Doge of Venice (Doge being Venetian for Duke) intervened and ordered to pay him. The year of his death in unknown as well. We can only guess that is was around 1562, the year the poet Domenico Veniero wrote a sonnet on his death.
Cees Wagemakers, 2018