A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/Colonna, Giovanni

COLONNA, Giovanni Paolo, was born about 1640, at Brescia according to Cozzando, but at Bologna according to other authorities. He was the son of Antonio Colonna, a maker of organs, who must not be confounded with the Fabio Colonna who constructed the 'Penteconta chordon.' The subject of this notice studied music at Rome under Carissimi, Abbatini, and Benevoli. In 1672 we find him established at Bologna, where he was four times elected Principal of the Musical Academy. Among many pupils of note he numbered the famous and unfortunate Buononcini. Nearly all his compositions were for the church, but he condescended to write one opera, 'Amilcare,' which was performed at Bologna in 1693. He is certainly entitled to take rank among the most distinguished Italians of his century. At all events his music is far above the level of his epitaph, which has been unfortunately preserved:—

'Joannes Paulus cantûs basis atque Columna,
Hic situs est; omnis vox pia juxtà canat.'

He died on Nov. 28, 1695. Fétis, in his 'Biographie universelle des Musiciens' gives a list of his works extending to no less than 44 items. A Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis of his for two choirs are printed in the collection of the Motet Society, and four other pieces in the Fitzwilliam music.

[ E. H. P. ]