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Giovanni Gabrieli (ca.

1554-1612):
The Musical Times,
His Life, Work,
and His In Ecclesiis

By Kimberly Zoeller

Fall 2007, Music History, The Baroque Era, Independent Study


Dr. Nico Schuler, Professor

Giovanni Gabrieli (ca. 1554-1612): The Musical Times, His Life, Work, and
His In Ecclesiis
By Kimberly Zoeller
Introduction
Giovanni Gabrieli, nephew of famed composer Andrea Gabrieli, is recognized as one of
the most important composers bridging the musical form and style from the Renaissance
and Baroque eras. Many of Giovannis musical developments were concepts that were
expanded on and developed to their full potential during the Baroque era. These same
concepts came to define Baroque music. For example, the use of movements in a single
work that together complete the musical thought and the elements of through-composed
composition in his later works. Giovannis musical voicing and cori spezzati style of
composition led to the development of musical expression being notated in the music.
There have been many disagreements throughout the years as to which period Giovannis
music belonged and why. Some believe that his music belonged to the High Renaissance
because of his use of vocal forms throughout the various styles he composed. Others
believe his music belonged to the Early Baroque period for his ability to express emotion
within his compositions, especially in his instrumental pieces. During the Renaissance,
the various instrumentation would be considered color and decoration, but in the Baroque
period this became an issue of compositional technique. Instrument voicing and blend
helped develop the texture we find in Baroque music. Composers started to take care and
notate their intent for the performance of their work. Those who believe that Giovannis
work belong to the Renaissance probably base this solely on his early compositions
according to Larson. Arnold and Kenton, two of the most important authorities on
Giovanni Gabrieli believe he should be placed at the beginning of the Baroque era.

We will look at the times in which this man lived and his life, the turns it took, and how
this effected the nature of his works. Finally, we will look at In ecclesiis, work found in
Book II of his Symphoniae Sacrae and discuss how it heralded the changes in musical
form.
Venetian Life
It is not known with certainty the exact date of Giovanni Gabrielis birth, but it is
believed to be around 1550 in the city of Venice. The date of his death is documented as
August 1612, at around the age of 56. But what is certain is that Giovanni Gabrieli was
born in the most highly desirable time and place in which to be a musician. At the time of
his birth, Venice was undoubtedly one of the greatest centers of music making in the
world. The citizens of Venice enjoyed a freedom that people in many other countries did
not share. A church or Monarch did not rule the city, so the wealth of the city was created
through the economics of trade. The city enjoyed both good economic health and growth.
The citizens of Venice had money, time, and opportunity to enjoy the finer things in life.
There were many celebrations that Venetians enjoyed and music was apart of every
celebration. There was great civic pride throughout the city and they loved nothing more
than coming together to celebrate and enjoy everything Venetian. From the celebration of
the Days for the Venetian Saints to any historical event in grand Venetian history,
it was all cause for celebration. Patrons of the arts would invest in and attend a
variety of musical events. The general festivity of the music in the city was also reflected
in the music of the church. The Doge would fund festivals that would be held for both
religious and patriotic celebrations. In Giovannis time, the Doge were city officials who
were elected for a lifetime. They held no political power to create laws but were
wealthy, highly regarded men.

The Doge in earlier times had run the city and the church, but in Giovannis time did not
wield this type of power. However, the Doge funded the celebrations in the city, even
creating their own coronation events. St. Marks was still considered the Doges church.
The musicians at St. Marks were called the Doges cappella and the positions were
considered to be civil service jobs. The Doge would entertain important officials from
other countries and they would hold celebrations for those officials. Musicians would
lead the procession of the Doge and his officials. The celebration procession would
proceed to St. Marks square and then into St. Marks Church. The composition of the
music for such events was the responsibility of the second organist at St. Marks, the
position held by Giovanni Gabrieli.
The Two Gabrielis, Orlando di Lasso, and Munich
Giovanni Gabrielis career is tied to that of his famous uncle, Andrea Gabrieli. At the
time of Giovannis birth Andrea was a man in his thirties and an organist in a small
church in South Geremia and quite unknown. Fifteen years later, Andrea is the church
organist at St. Marks, a grand leap indeed. This rise is accounted for by one event,
Andrea Gabrieli traveled to study in Munich Germany. This brought him in touch with
the most famous of all European composers of the time, Orlando di Lasso. Through his
association with Lasso, Andrea forged bonds with many important future patrons. It was
at this time that Andrea became fully familiar with every compositional style of the time.
After his time in Munich with Lasso, there wasnt another Italian composer of his time
who was as prolific as Andrea. On Andreas return to Venice he secured the position of
organist at St. Marks. It is generally believed that it is Andreas influence that made
Giovanni later travel to Munich and also study with Lasso.

Giovannis earliest music was printed in 1575 when he was in Munich, and two of his
madrigals show Lassos influence. Giovanni was in Munich for some years and in 1578
seemed to be a full member of the household of the Duke of Bavaria. The Duke had in
his household an international group of musicians, Italians, Netherlanders, and Germans
all contributing to the households variety. Giovannis admiring patrons sent him pupils
and awarded him the present of allowing Giovanni to dedicate music to them. He made
his reputation in Southern Germany and was more popular there than in any Italian state
even at the end of his life. After the Dukes death in 1579, Giovanni along with several
other musicians left the household because of debt left by the Duke, the Dukes son,
although a patron of the arts himself was forced to reduce the household. Little is known
as to what Giovanni did but he resurfaces on the books in 1584 as acting temporary
organist of St. Marks. A move clearly engineered by his uncle Andrea. Under the careful
tutorage of his uncle, Giovanni developed the delightful and rich compositional style that
we have come to know today.
St. Marks
St. Marks Church had long been famed for its oppositional organs. The architecture of
the church itself led to what became known as the cori spezzati style of composition.
Cori Spezzati is Italian for separated choir. This style developed by having two choirs
in opposite choir lofts echoing each other in canon and joining together for added effect
in key compositional moments. The style had been around long before either Giovanni or
Andrea Gabrieli were composing for St. Marks. The architectural design of the choir
lofts is that the two organs and choir lofts are on opposite sides of the church from each
other.

The distance between the lofts is not great. One could conduct both choirs from
either loft. The singers and instrumentalists could see and hear each other clearly. The
high ceilings create an echo, but the choirs were close enough to each other so as to not
be confused by the echo. Thus keeping the integrity of performance tightly knit and
cohesive. St. Marks employed two organists; the first organist, and the second
organist. The position of organist at St. Marks was equivalent to a civil service position.
They were members of the Doges cappella. The Doges cappella were given renewable
contracts with a fair amount of security and a decent but not generous salary. Candidates
were auditioned and then tested, with musicianship rather that virtuosity given more
weight. A panel of Procurators made the appointments and they were concerned most
with two skills; score reading, and improvisation. The first was, score reading, the
organists were expected to be able to play from a four-part choir book to accompany the
choir. Second, they had to be able to take plainsong and make a real piece of music from
it using it as a cantus fermus. Plainsong being the liturgical chant used during a Catholic
service. The organist would be expected to develop the plainsong into a polyphonic
composition. Giovanni auditioned and won the seat as second organist at St. Marks
Church. Giovanni would serve at St. Marks until his death. The position seems to have
had the same obligations as any major church, with daily masses and vespers, but it is
unknown what the actual daily responsibilities of the musicians were. As to the position,
loyalty was highly regarded. If a musician left to play at another church for better pay,
they would not be welcomed back at St. Marks. Of all the music that Giovanni Gabrieli
wrote, his most highly regarded works were his compositions for the grand ceremonies at
St. Marks.

The second organists at St. Marks were the principal composers for the
festivals. This tradition had started 20 years before Giovanni started at St. Marks. It is
believed though that he did not like writing for these events and when his colleague,
Giovanni Croce became first vice-maestro Gabrielis festival motet output rapidly
declined. Only three-dozen motets survive which would be dated during the 15 years it is
believed that Croce took over the responsibility of music for the Festivals. Festivals were
often no more than large patriotic events, and national pride over flowed from the 1570s
until 1605. The material used for the compositions for these events were of limited
emotional range. Festival themes were Vespers, Magnificat, and prayers for the days
appropriate to Venetian saintsSt. Mark, St. John the Baptist and for Venetian
circumstances, either because of some relic preserved in St. Marks, such as the Holy
Blood and the Cross, or because of some historical accident, such as St. Marinas Day.
Greater festivals of the Church year: Christmas, Epiphany, Easter, Ascension, and the
various days devoted to the Blessed Virgin were also celebrated in grand Venetian style.
The Architectural Design of St. Marks Influenced Musical Composition
The architectural design of St. Marks Cathedral in Venice has long influenced the music
written and performed there. There is a direct relationship between the spatial
arrangement of the church and the polychoral style developed in the Venetian school of
composers. The highly resonant acoustics of St. Marks influenced Venetian composers
such as Giovanni Gabieli to incorporate echo effects into compositions which employed
contrasting textures and a breakup of phrases. St. Marks was constructed with the
Byzantine influence. This style of architecture lent itself to the polychoral style that was
developed to be performed there at St. Marks.

An important feature in the polychoral style is that of creating a tonal contrast by placing
vocal or instrumental groups in oppositional positions. The groups would be comprised
of performers with either similar or different ranges and colors. The oppositional
placement of the groups is of primary importance in this style of polychoral music. The
lofty spaces in the cathedral at St. Marks creates a resonant intermingling of the opposed
sounds and this is what defines the special quality of this music. It is not unusual in
performance practice (especially modern day performance practice) to play these pieces
with two or more groups seated in the same area. This performance arrangement does not
however represent the essence of polychoral music as conceived by Baroque composers.
These are adaptations made because of the physical limitations of a given performance
area. The Byzantine design of the St. Marks presbytery permitted placement of its two
organs in opposing galleries, which, during Giovannis tenure, were sufficient in space to
hold divided the choirs that could contain both instrumentalist and vocalists. A smaller
gallery for instrumentalists was located at a level closer to the floor of the church.
Giovanni Gabrielis Compositions
In A Dictionary of Early Music, Roche describes Giovanni Gabrielis body of work
thus, The distinctive part of his output consists of large-scale ceremonial music for St.
Marks whether motets for important church and state occasions or instrumental music
for the talented church orchestra which played a notable part in the basilicas music.
These works were issued in three large collections; two volumes of Symphoniae Sacrae,
(1597 and 1615) and one of Canzoni e sonate (1615).

In them he gradually transformed the Venetian polychoral style with its blocks of equally
balanced performers (as in his uncles music) into a more Baroque concept of solo
voices, instruments, full choir and continuo. This he did by specifying which instruments
were to be used and which passages were to be sung by soloists and by tutti, and further
by distinguishing the musical style of each. At the same time he devised coherent musical
structures, often involving refrains, to weld together these diverse sonorities. All this is
well illustrated in the motet In ecclesiis (perhaps his masterpiece) for 4 soloists, 4-part
choir, 3 cornetts, viola, 2 trombones and organ. That Gabrieli was capable of a
madrigalian intensity of expression is evident from a smaller work like Timor et tremor.
There is emotional intensity rather than mere ceremonial pomp in some of the
instrumental canzonas, too, together with brilliant instrumental writing.1 This
summation of Giovannis works over his lifetime is more than adequate.
The Instrumental Works
Giovanni returned to Venice from Munich in the 1580s and it is then that the grand
ensemble at St. Marks was built up. The instrumental ensemble at St. Marks was made
up of a few professional musicians in key sections, and the rest was filled out with
volunteers. When there were important festivals instrumentalist would be added often
bringing the total number in the orchestra to more than 20. Giovanni enjoyed the
privilege of composing for the talented instrumentalists at St. Marks. When he was
finished assembling his orchestra, listed on the roster were a brilliant young cornettist,
Giovanni Bassano and one or two of the virtuosi from the Dukes retinue from Munich
and all told there were six salaried instrumentalist on the books.

Roche, A Dictionary of Early Music, pg. 79

He used the sound to add to his vocal motets. Being too good an opportunity to waste,
Giovanni started writing pieces for the instrumentalists without voices. This was unique
to Giovanni, no other composer at St. Marks wrote purely instrumental works, not the
maestri di cappella or even Bassano, the director of instruments. Most of Giovannis
instrumental output were canzonas, and what great works these are! There was nothing of
their quality in the Italian ensemble music of the time. Giovanni took full advantage of
his unique situation. His instrumental works spanned the full range of expression. From
the bleak and strange Canzon Noi Toni, to the festive Canzon Septimi Toni. He
employs the same split choir technique he used with voices in his instrumental works. In
these instrumental works he expresses moods and attitudes that could not be expressed in
vocal terms. Grand dialogues of tone color and texture that he weaves at will into any
range of emotion he wants; pomp, sadness, or joy. We find the melodies to these works
very memorable, even hummable. Giovanni used meter within his instrumental works
frequently, although most of the works were in a duple meter. The instrumental music
contains interesting turns or ornaments in the music that catch the ear and choir like
harmonies, very much like Andreas own style, that bring the listener in. First, the
interesting turns in the melody, second the echoing parts, then at the end of phrases the
beautiful choir of chordal harmonies. Often there is the meter to connect the sections
together, always climbing to a climax at the end with a Picardy third or a beautiful
flourish. There is no doubt that there is an enormous emotional variety and intellectual
quality in the instrumental music of Giovanni Gabrieli.

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A Performance Review
Thomas Coryate describes in detail the music of Giovanni he heard in 1608. A visiting
Englishman, he is described as a court jester to Prince Henry, the son of James I. He
writes, At that time I heard much good musicke in Saint Markes Church, but especially
that of a treble violl which was so excellent, that I thinke no man could surpasse it. Also
there were sagbuts and cornets as at St. Laurence feast which yeelded passing good
musicke. The third feast was vpon Saint Roches day being Saturday and the sixth [16th]
day of August, where I heard the best musicke that euer I did in my life both in the
morning and the afternoone, so good that I would willingly goe an hundred miles a foote
at any time to heare the like...This feast consisted principally of Musicke, which was both
vocall and instrumentall, so good, so delectable, so rare, so admirable, so superexcellent,
that it did euen rauish and stupifie all those strangers that neuer heard the like. But how
others were effected with I know not; for mine owne part I can say this, that I was for the
time euen rpt up with Saint Paul into the third heauen. Sometimes ther sung sixteene or
twenty men together, hauing their master or moderator to keepe them in order; and when
they sung, the instrumentall musitians played also. Sometines sixteen played together
upon their instruments, ten Sagbuts, foure Cornets, and two Violdegmbaes of and
extraordinary greatnesse; sometimes tenne, six sagbuts and foure cornets; sometimes two,
a Cornet and treble violl. Of those treble viols I heard three seuerall there, whereof each
was so good, especially one that I obserued aboue the rest, that I neuer heard the like
before.

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Those that played upon the treble violl, together upon Theorboes, to which they
sung also, who yeelded admirable sweet musicke, but so still that they could sarce be
heard but by those that were very neare them. These two Theorbists concluded that
nightsmusicke, which continued three whole howers at the least. For they beganne about
fiue of the clocke, and ended not before eight. Also it continued as long in the morning;
at euery time that euery seuerall musicke played, the Organs, where of there are seuen
faire paire in that room, standing al in a rowe togither, plaied with them. Of the singer
there were three of roure so excellent that I thinke few or noe in Christendome do excell
them, especially one who had such a peerelesse and (as I may in menner say) such a
supernatural voice for seetness that I thinke there was never a better singer in all the
world, inso much that he did not only give the most pleasant contentment that could be
imagined to all the hearers, but also did as it were astonish and amaze them.2 This
famous account by Coryate was believed to be about Giovanni Gabrielis Book II of the
Symphoniae Sacrae. The instrumentation described makes one consider In ecclesiis as
maybe one of the pieces in particular described by Coryate.
Giovannis Different Bodies of Work
When we look at the body of Giovanni Gabrielis work we see quite a progression. His
earliest madrigals and motets written very much in the vocal style of the time using rondo
form seem to be very much apart of the Renaissance. Later at St. Marks with the
evolution of the small orchestra, his progression to instrumental works, a few for organ
but mostly for the ensemble at St. Marks. He develops his instrumental style and takes it
to new heights when composing his grand ceremonial music.
2

Carter, Music in Late Renaissance & Early Baroque Italy, pgs. 222-223, The Paymasters record shows
that the music was that of Giovanni Gabrieli.

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After Giovannis death two books are published, Books I and II of the Symphoniae
Sacrae. These volumes contain some of the ceremonial music he wrote for St. Marks.
Book I contains 45 motets, 61 in all counting the instrumental canzonas Kenton lists
belonging with this book. Book II contains 32 motets. These motets were written for
various number of choirs for both the voice and instrument.
The Symphoniae Sacrae, Books I and II
In Books I and II of Giovannis Symphoniae Sacrae, forms are found that include
principles of through-composed composition, extensive repetition, and use of ritornello.
In his use of antiphonal parts and the wide variety of voice distributions we find a
clear formal structure. This is not considering his use of harmony, melody, and rhythm.
In the development of his chord progressions, his use of consistent root movement of the
fifth, anticipates the tonal evolution that emerged during the 17th century. The height of
the polychoral use in music was from 1580 to 1630 according to Larson, but the decline
of its use is rapid after that time. Giovannis development of the Venetian polychoral
style was in fact due to the use of the two opposing choir lofts, raised above the main
altar and on either side of it, and the use of two organs, one on each side. The most
notable of the Venetian school developments were created due to the Byzantine edifice of
St. Marks which had a musical tradition since the middle ages of using opposite organs
and choir stalls to create compositional effect. Denis Arnold describes Book II of
Symphoniae Sacrae (1615); It clearly influenced German music far more that even the
followers of Gabrieli in Venice who were moved to follow Montverdes innovations. It is
no coincidence that the volume was dedicated (not by Gabrieli himself, however) to the
Abbot of the church and monastery of St. Ulrich and St. Afra, and that in this civic

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church of Augsburg, more of Gabrielis music is found both in early printed volumes and
in manuscript copies, than in any single Italian library. It is in the work of Michael
Praetorius and Heinrich Schutz (Schultz being the most notable and successful student of
Giovannis) that the continuation of Giovannis late style is to be found.3
Giovannis Baroque Standing
Giovanni is the leader of the polychoral Venetian School, but to some the question still
remains is whether his music belongs to the Renaissance or Baroque period. The
monumental choral works of Giovanni in Books I and II of the polychoral Symphoniae
Sacrae represent what we find at the height of early Baroque scared music. His use of
multiple choirs of contrasting tonal quality, this is the style that eventually became the
concertato style which is part of 17th century Baroque music. Reese in Music in the
Renaissance, says The same device (the various choirs in a single piece are differently
constituted and are contrasted and united with one another so as to produce the greatest
brilliance and power) is used with striking eloquence in Giovannis In ecclesiis. With
his compositions, however we have definitely crossed the border into the domain of
Baroque music.4 In regard to Giovannis use of harmony they are much nearer to the
later Baroque period than anything else of his time. He uses constant recurrence of
cadencial figures and primary triads leading some in his time to call his music modern.
Denis Arnold is convinced of Giovannis Baroque classification, That he [Gabrieli] was
active just during the greatest flowering of Venice under the Doge, Marino Grimani, and
was able to use the richest musical resources, he was in a position to employ large

Larson, An Analysis of Selected Polychoral Motets of Giovanni Gabrieli in Preparation for


Performance, pgs. 31-32
4
Larson, An Analysis of Selected Polychoral Motets of Giovanni Gabrieli in Preparation for
Performance, pg. 32

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instrumental and vocal ensembles. Herein lies his connection with the great Venetian
painters of the time. With the new color and effectiveness of his music and his nervous
sensitivity to the connection between the work and the tone, with his leaning toward
contrasts and the change of rich sections, he became the creator of the musical Baroque
style.5 When we look at Giovannis use of meter and rhythm we see both elements of
Renaissance and Baroque. His earlier works show the use of the Renaissance practice of
longer vocal lines with little metric interruption. Within pieces he will use both
Renaissance polyphonic rhythm and with the Alleluia use the metric rhythmic device
more common in his later polychoral works. Later, his use of triple meter was much
greater than what was found in the music of the Renaissance. A very typical rhythmic
device Giovanni used is how he would set up the word Alleluia. It is presented in triple
meter with the verbal accent in the normal place there exists within the pull between the
up-beat feeling of the word and the down-beat setting it receives from Giovanni. The
conductor must know what to do and not let the verbal stress guide the performance of
the Alleluia. Giovanni would use dotted rhythms in the instrument parts, wind
instruments in particular can play these clean and clear by virtue of how the sound is
created on the instrument through tonguing. The sinfonia in the middle of In ecclesiis
illustrates this point. Giovanni is also, according to Michael Praetorious, the first to
indicate Sonate pian eforte in Book I of Symphoniae Sacrae, the dynamic designation of
piano forte. Usually, he just mixes the vocal and instrumental choirs by virtue of their
range and tone color, and they dynamically contrast enough. His textures are used in a
similar way.

Larson, An Analysis of Selected Polychoral Motets of Giovanni Gabrieli in Preparation for


Performance, pg. 33

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Most often he will begin a work with a polyphonic texture in one of the two, three, or
four choirs, alternate the texture to the other, and then join them together either in a large
and thick polyphonic texture or in a large homophonic texture. Even in his early work, he
makes use of the homophonic, chord-like texture that was to become one of his
trademarks. Within Giovannis polychordal motets, we see his use of voice leading, his
development of the concertato principle, including a strong sense of instrumental color,
use of dynamics and his melodic treatment of text. Kenton list these characteristics and
goes on to call attention to the aspect of form. The most prominent stylistic feature of
Giovannis music, the feature that appears to be his major preoccupation.6 Kenton goes
on to cite these elements that help in determining form; the end repetition, or reprise, the
Alleluia refrain, the use of sections of triple meter in a piece predominantly in binary
meter, the general pause (used coincidentally for dramatic, text-related purposes) and the
use of sound contrast. Giovanni Gabrieli is essentially a composer of music for the
church. Of the church works about 76 are polychoral. Ranging from simple duple meter
chorus works patterned on the Renaissance style, to the large four and five chorus works
of his later years with their multi-sonorous levels, obtained by use of opposing vocal
choirs, instrumental choirs, and soloists, such as in the famous In ecclesiis. All the
elements that Giovanni uses that are Baroque he uses in In ecclesiis.
In Ecclesiis
In ecclesiis first appears as the 26th item in Book II of Symphoniae Sacrae published in
1615, three years after Giovannis death. The text used in In ecclesiis is typical of
many of the motets of Giovanni in that it is not the usual liturgical or biblical source.

Larson, An Analysis of Selected Polychoral Motets of Giovanni Gabrieli in Preparation for


Performance, pg. 39

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The text is six long lines and each is followed by an Alleluia except for line 4.
In the congregations bless ye the Lord;
Alleluia;
In every place of his dominion bless the Lord O my soul;
Alleluia;
In God is my help and my hope is in God,
In God my Saviour and my glory;
Alleluia;
Our God, we call upon Thee, we praise Thee, we praise Thee;
Deliver us, preserve us grant us life;
Alleluia;
O God, our helper for ever and ever;
Alleluia.
Original Text:
In ecclesiis benedicite domino;
Alleluia;
In omni loco dominationis beneic, anima mea dominum;
Alleluia;
In Deo salutari meo et gloria mea. Deus auxilium meum et spes mea in Deo est;
Alleluia;
Deus noster te invocamus, te laudamus, te adoramus.
Libera nos, salva nos, vivifica nos;
Alleluia;
Deus adiutor noster in aeternum;
Alleluia.
In In ecclesiis Giovannis polychoral techniques, includes using three choirs. The first a
full choir of voices, next a choir of solo voices and the third an instrumental group, all
supported by the organ. The style is dramatic and rich. He uses rondo and refrain
patterns, with the triple meter Alleluia sections, which bind this piece together. This
rondo motet, with the traditional triple time Alleluia refrain, a sinfonia, and a grand
climax, with solemn chords announcing the ultimate phase of the piece. This piece is
sectional and can be divided in movements, each with its own resources, solo or
ensemble, chorus or orchestra, normally finishing on a cadence, which marks the division

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from the next section following it. The sinfonia section, instead of preceding the work
like an organ prelude, is after the final chord of the second statement of the alleluia. The
solo sections of the work mostly have organ accompaniment to fill in the harmonies. Solo
voices are given ornaments to sing. The cappella by contrast is written in solid chordal
blocks, with no embellishment. The skills of the instrumentalists are fully developed; the
cornettists are given backfalls and other semiquaver figurations and play the dotted
rhythms for contrast. Arnold says, This is truly concertante music, in which contrasts
between resources and skills are assumed it the way of the later concerto and the Baroque
cantata.7 In the later Baroque era the sections would be broadened and made into
separate pieces, which would make the whole with the role of orchestra becoming more
prevalent.
Giovannis Final Years
Giovanni Gabrieli suffered the last eight years of his life with a kidney stone. This was
the recorded reason for his death. Like most composers of his time, he was promptly
forgotten. On his death bed Giovanni gave his last pupil Heinrich Schutz his ring. Schutz
left Venice a few months after his teachers death. The last fifteen years of his life,
Giovanni had not published any of his works. Probably leaving it for others to take care
of after his death as he had done for Andrea following the death of his uncle. It was three
years before his works were published and without much care. Both the
Symphoniae Sacrae and Canzoni e Sonate were full of misprints where his Concerti of
1587 was not. In Venice, there was not a note of his manuscripts recorded within church
documents.
7

Arnold, Giovanni Gabrieli and the Music of the Venetian High Renaissance, pg. 291

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The most valuable body of unpublished music was found in the Murhardsche und
Landgraves at Kassel. Interestingly, many of his works that were found in Germany
were in the German notation. These works existed no where else. While in Venice
Giovannis style faded, intensely religious works fell out of favor. After the death of
cornettist Bassano in 1617, strings replaced the wind section at St. Marks. And while
many great string players came out of St. Marks, the compositions had changed. The
texture and color were no longer like that of Giovannis. In Germany however, the style
grew in favor especially with the Jesuits. The expression of emotion with devote religious
themes as developed by Giovanni continued to evolve and develop in German church
music. Many of the psalms composed for the churches in Germany reach that Giovannian
expression. Giovanni Gabrieli through the many students that came to study in Venice
from Germany, effected musical development not through the Venetians but through his
German connections.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY:
Arnold, Denis. Giovanni Gabrieli. London: Oxford University Press, 1977.
Arnold, Denis. Giovanni Gabrieli and the music of the Venetian High Renaissance.
London; New York: Oxford University Press, 1979.
Bartlett, Clifford and Peter Holman. Giovanni Gabrieli: A Guide To The Performance
Of His Instrumental Music, Early Music, 3, p. 25 (1975).
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DISCOGRAPHY:
Gabrieli Consort, Gabrieli Players & Paul McCreesh. In Ecclesiis A 14, Giovanni
Gabrieli. Music for San rocco. 1996 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Hamburg.
E. Power Biggs. The Edward Tarr Brass Ensemble & The Texas Boys Choir.
Symphoniae sacrae, Book 2: In ecclesiis [Motet in 15 parts for three choirs]. Great
Performances: The Glory of Gabrieli. 2006 Sony BMG Music Entertainment.
Berlin Philharmonic Brass & The Canadian Brass, In ecclesiis, Giovanni Gabrieli. Brass
in Berlin, 1984 Sony BMG Music Entertainment.

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