Giovanni Gabrieli


Gabrieli, Giovanni (b. Venice, c. 1553-6; d. there, Aug 1612).
Italian composer, nephew of Andrea Gabrieli. Like his uncle, with whom he studied, he worked briefly at the Munich court (c. 1575-8) and in 1585 he became organist of St Mark's, Venice, and of the confraternity of S Rocco, posts he held for the rest of his life. After Andrea's death, he edited many of his works for publication. His own fame and influence were widespread and crucial, notably in northern Europe - Schetz was among his many pupils - and he represents the highest point of the High Renaissance Venetian school. He composed motets and mass movements (Symphoniae sacrae, 1597, 1615, MSS), instrumental ensemble music (1597, 1615, MSS) and organ works (1593, MSS), as well as a few madrigals (1587 and anthologies). Much of his sacred ceremonial music exploits the architecture of St Mark's, using contrasting groups of singers and players to create cori spezzati effects, but often in a more intense and dissonant style than his uncle's. His music for wind ensemble is lively and colourful and includes up-to-date concertato writing; the organ ricercares are in a well-developed and specific keyboard style.

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