Hellinck, Lupus

Lupus Hellinck (c.1494-1541) was a Flemish composer, born in Bruges (today’s Belgium). He lived and worked there most of his life. It is not entirely certain that Lupus Hellinck is the composer of the Mæ Some authors attribute the mass to Joannes Lupi (Jean Leleu - c.1506-1539) who worked in Cambrai but who wrote nearly exclusively secular music. Richard Sherr (1989) stated that Lupus Hellinck must have been the author. He was in Rome and Ferrara from 1515 until 1519, and the mass might originate from that time. The first time that it is seen in print is in the underlying edition by Moderne in 1532. But now comes the interesting question: why is the mass called as it is? Duke Ercole I had died in 1505, and his grandson Ercole II came to the throne in 1534 after the death of Alfonso I, who was a son of Ercole I and a brother of Sigismondo d’Este. So it cannot have been dedicated to any Duke Ercole. More likely seems the assumption by August Wilhelm Ambros (1882), that the mass is an evil and competitive caricature of Josquin’s Mæ (from Polyphone Herrschermessen (1500-1650: Kontext und Symbolizität, 2003). Lupus’s mass evokes a strong reminiscence to Josquin’s; even the same title is used in palimpsest setting.
Cees Wagemakers