Giovanni Gabrieli (c.1554 to 1557 – august 12, 1612) was an Italian composer and organist. He was one of the most prominent musicians the his time, and represents the culmination the the format of the Venetian School, at the time of the change from Renaissance to Baroque idioms in music.

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He provided his comprehensive knowledge that counterpoint in writing toccatas, canzonas, fugues, sonatas, and instrumental music to rouse an individual and spiritual features in his listeners, aiding them in achieving your individual transformations. Using theoretical developments in counterpoint, ornamentation, and improvisation, he created plenty of madrigals that inspire interesting musical emotions prefer that that no various other musician the this time.


Gabrieli was most most likely born in Venice. He was one of five children, and his father come from the town of Carnia come Venice shortly prior to Giovanni"s birth. If not much is known about Giovanni"s beforehand life, he most likely studied v his uncle, the composer Andrea Gabrieli. He may indeed have been carried up through him, as is include in some of his later writing. He also went come Munich to study with the famous Orlando de Lassus at the court of fight it out Albrecht V. Most likely he continued to be there until about 1579.

By 1584, he had actually returned to Venice, wherein he came to be principal organist at the church of mountain Marco di Venezia in 1585, ~ Claudio Merulo left the post; and following his uncle"s death the complying with year also took the article of major composer. Likewise after his uncle"s fatality he take it on the job of editing and enhancing much of his music, which would certainly otherwise have been lost; Andrea evidently had had small inclination to publish his very own music, however Giovanni"s opinion the it was sufficiently high that he dedicated a most his very own time come compiling and also editing it because that publication.

Gabrieli"s job rose further when he take it the added post the organist in ~ the Scuola Grande di san Rocco, one more post he preserved for his whole life. Mountain Rocco was the most prestigious and wealthy of every the Venetian confraternities, and second only to san Marco chin in splendor of its musical establishment. Some of the many renowned singers and also instrumentalists in Italy performed there and also a vivid description of the music there survives in the travel memoirs that the English writer thomas Coryat. Much of his music to be written especially for the location, return it to be probably less than he created for san Marco.

San Marco had actually a long heritage of musical excellence and also Gabrieli"s job-related there made him one of the most detailed composers in Europe. The vogue which started with his influential volume Sacrae symphoniae (1597) was such the composers from everywhere Europe, specifically from Germany, involved Venice to study. Evidently he likewise made his brand-new pupils study the madrigals being created in Italy, so not just did lock carry back the grand Venetian polychoral style, but also the more intimate madrigalian style to their home countries; Hans Leo Hassler, Heinrich Schütz, Michael Praetorius and others aided transport the transitional at an early stage Baroque music north to Germany, an occasion which was decisive on subsequent music history. The productions of the German Baroque, finishing in the music that J.S. Bach, were started on this solid tradition which had actually its original roots in Venice.

Gabrieli was increasingly ill after about 1606, in ~ which time church authorities began to choose deputies come take over duties he might no longer perform. He passed away in 1612, of symptom from a kidney stone.

Music and also Style

Though Gabrieli written in many of the forms present at the time, he clearly preferred spiritual vocal and also instrumental music. All of his secular vocal music is reasonably early; late in his job he concentrated on spiritual vocal and instrumental music the exploited sonority for maximum effect.

His sonatas for antiphonal brass ensembles continue to be masterworks in the genre. That was among the first composers come dilineate dynamics in his pieces and also his Sonate pian e forte because that antiphonal brass choirs to be one if the very first compositions come designate dynamics (degrees the loud and also soft.) By creating music for two or 3 ensembles that would be situated in varying positions v a provided performing space, the would produce vistas that sound that would achieve a homogeneous sonority despite the physical distances that can separate the ensembles. His ingenious methods of polyphonic writing allowed for a sense of "oneness" and order to be materialized in these works.


Like composers before and after him, the would use the unexplained layout the the san Marco church, through its 2 choir lofts dealing with each other, to produce striking spatial effects. Most of his pieces are written so that a choir or instrumental team will first be heard from the left, complied with by a solution from the musicians to the best (antiphon). While this polychoral layout had to be extant for decades—possibly Adrian Willaert to be the very first to make use of it, at least in Venice—Gabrieli to be the an initial to use very closely determined groups of instruments and also singers, with an exact directions for instrumentation, and also in much more than two groups. The acoustic were together in the church—and they have changed tiny in 4 hundred years—that instruments, correctly positioned, could be heard through perfect clarity at remote points. Therefore instrumentation i beg your pardon looks strange on paper, for circumstances a solitary string player versus a big group that brass instruments, deserve to be made to sound, in mountain Marco, in perfect balance.

In particular, his arguably best-known piece, "In Ecclesiis", is a showcase of together polychoral techniques, making use of 4 separate groups of instrumental and also singing performers, underpinned by the omnipresent Organ and Continuo.


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