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Giovanni Gabrieli
(ca 1558 - 1613)

 


A great composer of sacred music, Gabrieli was an organist in the great St. Marco cathedral in Venice.


Interior of St. Marco Cathedral

We don't know where Gabrieli was born. He was the nephew and pupil of Andrea Gabrieli, the eminent organist and teacher, and the composer of the first fugues of the baroque tradition.

By 1575, Giovanni had gone to Munich to study with Orlandus Lassus. In the early 1580s or thereabout, Giovanni returned to Venice. On January 1st, 1585, a competition was held to select an organist at St. Marco, and Giovanni won. He became the organist at St. Marco in Venice, where he composed some very extraordinary and revolutionary compositions.

Gabrieli was an extraordinary composer. In his symphoniae sacrae, he wrote for multiple choirs, which were spaced above the congregation in the choir lofts of St. Marco. He was called the "Father of the chromatic style" because of his bold modulations, and was one of the first, if not the first, to employ use of the general bass that became the underpinning of all Baroque music. He wrote magnificently for instruments and was the first composer to specify a violin part in a score. This alone qualifies him as a Father of all Modern Music and to him must be given the credit for opening the door for the new music that came to life at the beginning of the 17th Century.

Gabrieli is a very important composer. His magnificent choral works, such as Plaudite and O Magnum Mysterium belong in catagory of great compositions for all time.

Gabrieli MP3s

-> Plaudite


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