Hans Leo Hassler (1564–1612) — Toccata quarta for organ
Hans Leo Hassler (1564–1612) was the first of many German composers to pursue musical study in Italy; he came to Venice during the height of the Venetian polychoral style, which greatly influenced his own work. He befriended Giovanni Gabrieli, and studied with him under Gabrieli’s uncle Andrea. Following Andrea Gabrieli’s death in 1585, Hassler returned to Germany, first in Augsburg and then to Nuremberg where he became Kappelmeister in 1602. Hassler was one of the era’s most prominent organ consultants and designed many instruments in collaboration with a number of builders. His personal blend of the Italian style with the German tradition was tremendously influential on later composers. Though Hassler composed much keyboard music, he did not choose to publish any of it during his lifetime. A number of his keyboard works were not discovered until the early 1960s.