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Giovanni Gabrieli

1555 - August 12, 1612
born in Venice, Italy, composed during the Renaissance period
Giovanni Gabrieli is an important transitional figure between the Renaissance and Baroque eras and their associated musical styles. The distinctive sound of his music derived in part from his association with St. Mark's Cathedral in Venice, long one of the most important churches in Europe, and for which he wrote both vocal and instrumental works. Through his compositions and his work with several significant pupils, Gabrieli substantially influenced the development of music in the seventeenth century.

Very little is known about his early years; he probably studied with his famous uncle Andrea Gabrieli, who was also a composer, and organist at St. Mark's. Like his uncle, Gabrieli lived in Germany for several years, and was employed at the court of Duke Albrecht V in Munich from around 1575 until the Duke's death in 1579. Soon after that Gabrieli returned to Italy, and in 1585 became the organist for the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, a religious confraternity; he would hold that post for the rest of his life. That same year (1585), Gabrieli became organist at St. Mark's and, on his uncle's death in 1586, assumed his position as its principal composer (Gabrieli also edited a number of his uncle's compositions for posthumous publication).

At that time, Venice was a very cosmopolitan city and something of a musical crossroads. Much of the city's musical activity centered around St. Mark's Cathedral, which had long attracted many great musicians. The Cathedral's unusual layout, with its two choir lofts facing each other (each with its own organ), led to the development of what has been called the Venetian style of composition -- a colorful and dramatic style often involving multiple choirs and instrumental ensembles; many of Gabrieli's motets and other religious choral works are written for two or four choirs, divided into a dozen or more separate parts. Gabrieli also became one of the first composers to write choral works including parts for instrumental ensembles; the motet In ecclesiis, as an example, calls for two choirs, soloists, organ, brass, and strings. Gabrieli wrote a number of secular vocal works (most or all of them before 1600), and a number of pieces for organ in a quasi-improvisational style.

Gabrieli composed many purely instrumental works in forms such as the canzoni and ricercari, which had become increasingly popular in the sixteenth century. Several of these were published with some of his choral music in the collection Sacrae symphoniae (1597). This publication was very popular all over Europe and attracted for Gabrieli a number of prominent pupils, the best known of which were Heinrich Schütz (who studied with him between 1609 and 1612) and Michael Praetorius. More of Gabrieli's instrumental pieces were published posthumously in Canzoni e sonate (1615). Some of these works were particularly innovative: the Sonata pian e forte was one of the first documented compositions to employ dynamic markings, and the Sonata per tre violini was one of the first to use a basso continuo, anticipating the later trio sonata. His instrumental works are now seen as the culmination of the development of instrumental music in the sixteenth century.

From around 1606, Gabrieli suffered from a kidney stone that reduced his activities, and eventually led to his death. ~ Chris Morrison, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Gabrieli: Music For Brass Vol. 3

Title: Sacrae Symphoniae: No. 12: Canzon In Echo Duodecimi Toni For 10 Parts
Title: Canzon No. 15, For 10 Parts
Title: Canzon No. 1, For 5 Parts
Title: Canzoni (unclassified)
Title: Sacrae Symphoniae: No. 16: Canzon Quarti Toni For 15 Parts
Title: Canzon No. 4, For 4 Parts
Title: Sacrae Symphoniae: No. 1: Canzon Primi Toni, For 8 Parts
Title: Sacrae Symphoniae: No. 5: Canzon Duodecimi Toni For 8 Parts
Title: Canzon No. 10, For 8 Parts
Title: Canzon No. 4, For 4 Parts
Title: Sacrae Symphoniae: No. 7: Canzon Primi Toni For 10 Parts
Title: Sonata No. 21 ("Con Tre Violini"), For 4 Or 5 Parts
Title: Sonata No. 20, For 22 Parts
x

Track List: Giovanni Gabrieli: Music For Brass, Vol. 1

Title: Canzon No. 17, For 12 Parts
Title: Sacrae Symphoniae: No. 13: Canzon Septimi Et Octavi Toni For 12 Parts
Title: Canzon No. 9 For 8 Parts
Title: Sacrae Symphoniae: No. 8: Canzon Duodecimi Toni For 10 Parts
Title: Canzon In Echo, For 12 Parts
Title: Canzon No. 14, For 10 Parts
Title: Canzon No. 7, For 7 Parts
Title: Sacrae Symphoniae: No. 2: Canzon Septimi Toni, For 8 Parts
Title: Sacrae Symphoniae: No. 6: Sonata Pian E Forte For 8 Parts
Title: Canzon No. 28 ("Sol Sol La Sol Fa Mi"), For 8 Parts
Title: Canzon No. 9 For 8 Parts
Title: Sacrae Symphoniae: No. 4: Canzon Noni Toni For 8 Parts
Title: Sonata No. 13, For 8 Parts
Title: Sacrae Symphoniae: No. 10: Canzon Duodecimi Toni For 10 Parts
Title: Canzon No. 8, For 8 Parts
Title: Sacrae Symphoniae: No. 14: Canzon Noni Toni For 12 Parts
x

Track List: Giovanni Gabrieli: Music for Brass, Volume 2

Title: Canzoni (unclassified)
Title: Canzon No. 5, For 7 Parts
Title: Sonata No. 18, For 14 Parts
Title: Canzon No. 2, For 4 Parts
Title: Sacrae Symphoniae: No. 1: Canzon Primi Toni, For 8 Parts
Title: Sonata No. 19, For 15 Parts
Title: Canzon No. 2, For 4 Parts
Title: Sacrae Symphoniae: No. 15: Sonata Octavi Toni For 12 Parts
Title: Canzon No. 3, For 4 Parts
Title: Canzon No. 12, For 8 Parts
Title: Canzon No. 3, For 6 Parts
Title: Canzon No. 6, For 7 Parts
Title: Canzon No. 1 ("La Spiritata"), For 4 Parts
Title: Canzon No. 16, For 12 Parts

Comments

Elegant, stately, and majestic.
I can't enjoy myself because... Please help!!!
Majestic.
I have played many of these . This is part of the what i will do in heaven.
Hey!!

Pandora!!

...get busy on requests below.

E Power Biggs needs some Pando-presen c e , not to mention a recording made in St. Marks.

Robert
1968 recording with E Power Biggs on the organ and Negri conducting called "The Glory of Gabrieli" by Columbia Masterworks won the grammy that year and needs to be added to the listening list--it was the only recording done in St Marks in Venice. Thanks
I suggest you add The Glory of Gabrieli with E Power Biggs on the Organ--the only recording actually done in St Mark's---rec o r d i n g by columbia masterworks with the Texas Boys Choir--1967- - t o your selected discography

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