Giovanni Gabrieli

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The lute player was previously identified as Giovanni Gabrielli, today as Giulio Mascheroni from Bologna

Giovanni Gabrieli (* 1554/1557 in Venice ; † August 12, 1612 ibid) was a Venetian church musician at St. Mark's Basilica in Venice and one of the most important musicians of the Venetian School at the transition from the Renaissance to the Baroque . His avant-garde work drew musicians from all over Europe to Venice. His most famous student was the German Heinrich Schütz .


Giovanni Gabrieli was born in Venice , capital of the Republic of Venice , as one of five children . The father had come to Venice from Carnia shortly before , nothing is known about the mother. Giovanni was probably the youngest of the family. Little is known of his childhood, but it is assumed that he was either born in 1557 or taken in with his uncle Andrea Gabrieli . The uncle had applied for a position as second organist at St. Mark's Basilica in Venice in 1556 , but could not prevail over Claudio Merulo - Andrea only got the position of second organist after his promotion to first organist in 1557. The full-time church musician at St. Mark's Basilica was Adrian Willaert , under whom Venice had meanwhile become a center of European musical culture. The fact that Andrea was around 45 years old at the time suggests that, as the elder of the family, he also had a duty of care towards his brother's family. Since Andrea was nicknamed "di Cannaregio ", it can be assumed that uncle and son lived in this part of Venice.

Giovanni Gabrieli studied music at the famous Orlando di Lasso in Munich at the court of Duke Albrecht V of Bavaria at the expense of the Fugger family . His friend Hans Leo Hassler , one of the later important German composers , also studied with him .

In 1580 Giovanni returned to Venice and became assistant organist at St. Mark's Basilica under his uncle Andrea Gabrieli, who still held the position of second organist. With the aim of a later permanent position at the cathedral, he published his first madrigal collection in Venice in 1583 as a composer De floridi virtuoas d 'Italia il primo libro de madrigali a quinque voci , a kind of " dissertation " without which there would be no permanent position at large churches.

After Claudio Merulo's resignation in 1585, Andrea Gabrieli became main organist and Giovanni Gabrieli second organist at St. Mark's Basilica in Venice. After his uncle's death a year later on August 30, 1586, Giovanni took over his position as main organist on the recommendation of the Fugger family. To her he later dedicated his composition Sacre di Giove á 12 voce . The Concerti (1587) appeared, his first collection of instrumental and vocal concerts for 6-16 voices in up to four choirs. As usual, it appeared in part books. Angelo Gardano was one of the most renowned printers in Venice. Gabrieli had his Concerti (1587) and later all of his works published by him.

Two opposite maintenance corridors / cat walkways in St. Mark's Basilica with a depth of 60–80 cm and a width of around 4–8 meters. If you take into account that the musicians of the Venetian polychoir had room to move and a music stand (possibly also a stool), they could only sing or play in a row next to each other. With a corresponding number of sub-conductors, Gabrieli was able to place almost any number of musicians in a row next to one another, as the walkways run through the entire church space. Visual contact was everything here when making music.

St. Mark's Basilica maintains a long musical tradition at the highest level, and thanks to the artistic activities at the cathedral , Giovanni Gabrieli advanced to become one of the most famous composers in Europe. The fashion that began with his influential anthology Sacrae symphoniae (1597) was so great that composers from all over Europe came to Venice to study music with him: Mogens Pedersøn , (1580–1623) and Christof Cornet in 1604. Both carried Gabrieli's musical style to Denmark . There were also close contacts with Landgrave Moritz von Hessen-Kassel : Thanks to his scholarship, Heinrich Schütz came to Gabrieli at the age of 24 to begin a second degree there. The teacher Gabrieli developed a friendship with him. Gabrieli used the rooms in St. Mark's Basilica with the galleries opposite, with the two organs installed there, in which he divided the choir into two sections, which could be used both antiphonically and simultaneously. In the tradition of Willaert, he cultivated the synthesis of Flemish, French and Italian style elements: the Venetian polychoir was closely linked to the Venetian school . At the same time, the principle of multiple choirs was carried over to instrumental music. Obviously Giovanni Gabrieli instructed his students to study the madrigal too, so that they might carry not only his great Venetian polychoralism to their home countries, but also the more intimate style of the madrigals; Heinrich Schütz made a significant contribution to transporting Gabrieli's two-layered "foundations well laid in music" (as Schütz also writes in his autobiography) to the German-speaking world; a trend that had a decisive impact on music history. "The upper layer is made up of the new: the" baroque "; at the time, however, this stands on the foundation of the traditional contrapuntal and motet movements of late medieval Dutch origin. The upper layer of the foundation is made up of those epoch-making innovations that Schütz adopted without reservation: the concertante Principle, the inclusion of instrumental choirs and voices in the vocal composition, the solo singing, the figured bass and all of this the pursuit of musical expression of the text. These innovations aimed to make the music, lively and penetrating, more effective: full of effects that attack and move people. " The works of the German Baroque, which culminated in the music of JS Bach , are based on this tradition, which has its roots in the Venetian School under Giovanni Gabrieli.

Between 1586 and 1597 Giovanni Gabrieli also took over the position of organist at the Scuola Grande di San Rocco , the most respected and richest of all Venetian brotherhoods and the second largest cadre forge after St. Mark's Basilica. Much of Gabrieli's music was written specifically for this location, although Giovanni Gabrieli probably composed more for St. Mark's Basilica.

Grave slab of Giovanni Gabrielis in the Chiesa Santo Stefano of Venice (San Marco district, Campo Santo Stefano, front left at the entrance) with the Latin inscription (translated):

Giovanni Gabrieli died on August 12, 1612 at the age of 59 and was buried in the Chiesa di Santo Stefano in Venice. On his deathbed, he is said to have bequeathed a ring to Heinrich Schütz, which Schütz later wore on the little finger of his left hand for the famous Rembrandt portrait.

Half a year later, Claudio Monteverdi was Gabrieli's successor at St. Mark's Basilica in Venice. Monteverdi and Schütz are fundamentally different. Heinrich Schütz returned to his adopted home Hessen-Kassel in 1613 and accepted there at the age of 28 that despite his avant-garde Venetian school and professional experience he was only given the position of second organist. His most famous student, however, was the German Heinrich Schütz. He later published three volumes with motets for several choirs and called them in relation to Gabrieli: Symphoniae Sacrae .


Canzon Septimi Toni No. 2, a piece for two antiphonal choirs of four instruments each; unspecified original instruments, but often played with eight baroque trombones . Synthesized sound:

Gabrieli is considered to be an important musical personality at the transition from the Renaissance to the Baroque . His work made use of the basso continuo early on , and the Sonata pian e forte contained some of the earliest dynamic markings; H. Markings for the respective use of volume in music. Well-known composers, e.g. B. Heinrich Schütz , were students of Gabrieli. The first of his works appeared in a collection published in Venice in 1575, and others in the collection of songs by his uncle Andrea Gabrieli, which he also published in Venice in 1587 .

The most important collections he wrote are:

Concerti (1587)

Concerti di Andrea, et di Giovanni Gabrieli, organisti della Serenissima Signori di Venetia : A collection of 77 works by Andrea Gabrieli and the following polyphonic motets by his nephew Giovanni Gabrieli.

  • No.09 Inclina Domine aurem for 6-part mixed choir
  • No.19 Ego dixi Domine for 7-part mixed choir
  • No.33 O magnum mysterium for 8-part mixed choir
  • No.37 Deus meus ad te de luce for 10-part mixed choir
  • No. 40 Angelus ad pastores ait for 12-part mixed choir
  • No.77 Sacri di Giove augei for 12-part mixed choir

Sacrae Symphoniae (1597)

A collection of 45 motets for 6–16 voices, 16 canzoni and sonatas for 8–15 instruments.

  1. Cantate Domino, Ch.6
  2. Exaudi Domine, justitiam meam, Ch. 7
  3. Beata es, virgo Maria, Ch.8
  4. Miserere mei, Deus, Ch. 9
  5. O quam suavis est, Domine, Ch.10
  6. Benedixisti Domine terram tuam, Ch.11
  7. Exaudi Domine, orationem meam, Ch.12
  8. Sancta Maria succurre miseris, Ch.13
  9. O Domine Jesu Christe, Ch.14
  10. Domine exaudi orationem meam, Ch. 15
  11. Jubilate deodorant, omnis terr, Ch. 16
  12. Misericordias Domin, Ch.17
  13. Beati immaculati, Ch.18
  14. Laudate nomen Domini, Ch.19
  15. Jam non dicam vos servos, Ch. 20
  16. Beati omnes, Ch. 21
  17. Domine, Dominus noster, Ch. 22
  18. Angelus Domini descendit, Ch. 23
  19. O Jesu mi dulcissime, Ch.24
  20. Sancta et immaculata virginitas, Ch. 25
  21. Diligam te, Domine, Ch. 26
  22. Exultate justi in Domino, Ch. 27
  23. Hoc tegitur, Ch.28
  24. Ego sum qui sum, Ch. 29
  25. In te Domine speravi, Ch.30
  26. Jubilemus singuli, Ch.31
  27. Magnificat, Ch.32
  28. Canzon per sonar primi toni a 8, Ch.170
  29. Canzon per sonar septimi toni a 8, Ch. 171
  30. Canzon per sonar septimi toni a 8, Ch 172
  31. Canzon per sonar noni toni a 8, Ch.173
  32. Canzon per sonar duodecimi toni a 8, Ch.174
  33. Sonata pian e forte, Ch. 175
  34. Benedicam Dominum, Ch. 33
  35. Domine exaudi orationem meam, Ch. 34
  36. Maria virgo, Ch 35
  37. Deus, qui beatum Marcum, Ch.36
  38. Surrexit Pastor bonus, Ch.37
  39. Judica me, Domine, Ch.38
  40. Quis est iste qui venit, Ch. 39
  41. Hodie Christ natus est, Ch.40
  42. Canzon per sonar primi toni a 10, Ch.176
  43. Canzon per sonar duodecimi toni a 10, Ch.177
  44. Canzon per sonar duodecimi toni a 10, Ch.178
  45. Canzon per sonar duodecimi toni a 10, Ch.179
  46. Canzon in echo duodecimi toni à 10, Ch.180
  47. Canzon sudetta accommodata per concertar con l'Organo a 10, Ch.181
  48. Plaudite, psallite, jubilate Deo omnis terra, Ch. 41
  49. Virtute magna, Ch. 42
  50. Kyrie (primus), Ch. 43
  51. Christe, Ch. 44
  52. Kyrie (tertius), Ch.45 (Ch.43–45 are individual compositions)
  53. Gloria, Ch. 46
  54. Sanctus, Ch.47
  55. Magnificat, Ch.48
  56. Regina cœli, lætare, Ch. 49
  57. Canzon per sonar septimi & octavi toni a 12, Ch 182
  58. Canzon per sonar noni toni a 12, Ch.183
  59. Sonata octavi toni a 12, Ch.184
  60. Nunc dimittis, Ch.50
  61. Jubilate Deodorant, omnis terra, Ch. 51
  62. Canzon quarti toni a 15, Ch.185
  63. Omnes gentes plaudite manibus, Ch. 52

Canzoni per sonare (1608)

A collection of 36 short works by Gabrieli, Girolamo Frescobaldi and others. The first four works are by Gabrieli.

  • No. 1 Canzon prima a 4 'La Spiritata', Ch.186
  • No. 2 Canzon seconda a 4, Ch.187
  • No. 3 Canzon terza a 4, Ch. 188
  • No. 4 Canzon quarta a 4, Ch.189

Sacrae Symphoniae (1615, posthumous)

Also known as Symphoniae Sacrae Liber Secundus .

  1. Exultavit cor meum
  2. Congratulamini mihi
  3. Ego dixi, domine
  4. sancta et immaculata
  5. O Jesus mi dulcissime
  6. Hodie completi sunt
  7. O quam suavis
  8. Deus, in nomine tuo
  9. Attendite popule meus
  10. Cantat Domino
  11. Benedictus es, Dominus
  12. Litania Beatae Mariae Virginis
  13. Deus, Deus meus
  14. Vox Domini
  15. Iubilate deodorant
  16. Surrexit Christ
  17. Exaudi Deus
  18. O gloriosa virgo
  19. Misericordia tua Domine
  20. Suscipe clementissime Deus
  21. Kyrie
  22. Sanctus
  23. Magnificat 12 vocum
  24. Confitebor tibi domine
  25. Quem vidistis pastores
  26. In ecclesiis
  27. Magnificat 14 vocum
  28. Salvator noster
  29. O quam gloriosa
  30. Exaudi me domine
  31. Magnificat 17 vocum
  32. Buccinate

Canzone e Sonata (1615, posthumous)

A group of 17 canzoni and 4 sonatas , published only after death. He invites you to "per sonar con ogni sorte de instrumenti con il basso per l'organo" (can be accompanied by the organ bass on all types of instruments).

  1. Canzon 1 for 5 voices
  2. Canzon 2 for 6 voices
  3. Canzon 3 for 6 voices
  4. Canzon 4 for 6 voices
  5. Canzon 5 for 7 voices
  6. Canzon 6 for 7 voices
  7. Canzon 7 for 7 voices
  8. Canzon 8 for 8 voices
  9. Canzon 9 for 8 voices
  10. Canzon 10 for 8 voices
  11. Canzon 11 for 8 voices
  12. Canzon 12 for 8 voices
  13. Sonata 13 for 8 voices
  14. Canzon 14 for 8 voices
  15. Canzon 15 for 10 voices
  16. Canzon 16 for 12 voices
  17. Canzon 17 for 12 voices
  18. Sonata 18 for 14 voices
  19. Sonata 19 for 15 voices
  20. Sonata 20 for 22 voices
  21. Sonata 21 with three violins

Recordings / discography

  • LP Gabrieli. Venetian choral music of the 16th century. This recording was made true to the original in St. Mark's Basilica . E. Power Biggs (organ), The Gregg Smith Singers, The Texas Boys Choir, The Edward Tarr Brass Ensemble, Gabrieli Consort "La Fenice", Vittorio Negri (conductor). Total playing time: 72'11. Sony Music Entertainment, 1969/71
  • LP The Glory of Venice - Giovanni Gabrieli. King's College Choir Cambridge , Philip Jones Brass Ensemble , Stephen Cleobury . Argo, 1986 (Audio CD 2007)
  • CD Giovanni Gabrieli. Music for San Rocco. Gabrieli Consort & Players , Paul McCreesh (lead). Archive production (Universal Music), 1996.
  • CD Giovanni Gabrieli. Canzoni & Sonata. Consort Fontegara, Rene Clemencic (lead). Tactus, DDD, 1996
  • CD Giovanni Gabrieli. Symphoniae Sacrae (1597). 16 canzones & sonatas. His Majesty's Sagbutts & Cornetts, Timothy Roberts (lead). Hyperion, DDD, 1997
  • CD Gabrieli. Sonata e canzoni. Per concertar con l'organo. Jansen, Tamminga, Concerto Palatino, Dickey, Toet. harmonia mundi, DDD, 1998
  • CD Gabrieli. In Festo sanctissimae Trinitatis. Choeur de Chambre de Namur, Ensemble La Fenice, Jean Tubery. Ricercar, DDD, 1998
  • Super Audio Hybrid CD Giovanni Gabrieli. Music for San Rocco. Gabrieli Consort & Players, Paul McCreesh. Archive production (Universal Music), 2004.
  • CD Giovanni Gabrieli. Christmas in Venice. Musica Fiata, La Capella Ducale, Roland Wilson (conductor). DHM, DDD, 2011
  • CD Giovanni Gabrieli. Canzoni Canzone, Toccatas, Ricercare, Motets. B. Dickey & D. Sherwin (zinc), L. Tamminga (organ), San Petronio Bologna. Passacaille, DDD, 2012
  • CD Giovanni Gabrieli. Symphoniae Sacrae. Oltremontano, Gesualdo Consort Amsterdam, Wim Becu. Accent, DDD, 2012
  • CD Gabrieli Sacred Symphonies. His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornets, Ex Cathedra, Concerto Palatino, Jeffrey Skidmore. Hyperion, DDD, 2012
  • CD Giovanni Gabrieli. La Musica per San Rocco. Melodi Cantores, La Pifarescha, Elena Sartori. Arts, DDD, 2012
  • CD Giovanni Gabrieli: Berlin Cathedral - Music for Brass & Organ. Andreas Sieling (Sauer organ & organ of the "Baptism and Wedding Church" of the Berlin Cathedral), Berlin Brass, Lucas Vis. Pentatone, DDD, 2013
  • 3CDs Giovanni Gabrieli. Complete Keyboard Music. Toccatas, canzones, ricercare, motets, fantasies, intonazioni. Roberto Lorregian (organ & harpsichord), Brilliant 2017


  • Denis Arnold: Giovanni Gabrieli and the Music of the Venetian High Renaissance. Oxford University Press, London et al. 1979, ISBN 0-19-315232-0
  • Richard Charteris: Giovanni Gabrieli (approx. 1555-1612). A Thematic Catalog of his Music with a Guide to the Source Materials and Translations of his Vocal Texts (= Thematic Catalogs. Vol. 20). Pendragon Press, Stuyvesant NY 1996, ISBN 0-945193-66-1 .
  • Holger Eichhorn : Gabrieli Tedescho. Reception and transmission of the late work of Giovanni Gabrieli in German sources of the 17th century. 328 pp., Reinhold-Verlag 2006, ISBN 978-3930550463
  • Stefan Kunze : The instrumental music of Giovanni Gabrielis (= Munich publications on music history. Vol. 8, 1–2, ZDB -ID 511426-3 ). 2 volumes. With a note attachment z. Instrumental compositions by G. Gabrielis and his contemporaries published for the first time. Schneider, Tutzing 1963 (partly at the same time: Munich, Univ., Diss., 1960/61: Die Kanzonen und Sonaten G. Gabrielis. ).
  • Gabrieli . In: Meyers Konversations-Lexikon . 4th edition. Volume 6, Verlag des Bibliographisches Institut, Leipzig / Vienna 1885–1892, p. 822.
  • Siegfried Schmalzriedt : Heinrich Schütz and other contemporary musicians in the teaching of Giovanni Gabrieli. Studies on their madrigals (= Tübingen contributions to musicology. Vol. 1, ZDB -ID 184213-4 = Hänssler-Edition 24101). Hänssler-Verlag, Neuhausen-Stuttgart 1972 (also: Tübingen, Univ., Diss., 1969).
  • Roselore Wiesenthal: Giovanni Gabrieli. A contribution to the history of the motet. Jena 1954 (Jena, Univ., Diss., 1954).
  • C. von Winterfeld : Johannes Gabrieli and his age. On the history of the flowering of sacred chant in the sixteenth, and the first development of the main forms of our contemporary art of music in this and the following centuries, especially in the Venedian music school. Volume 1: Johannes Gabrieli and his contemporaries and fellow artists during the sixteenth century. Schlesinger, Berlin 1834, online (PDF; 15.3 MB) .

Web links

Commons : Giovanni Gabrieli  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

References and comments

  1. ^ Biography of Giovanni Gabrieli
  2. ^ Hans Heinrich Eggebrecht: Heinrich Schütz. Musicus poeticus. , Verb. U. exp. New edition, 3rd edition, Noetzel Verlag, 2000
  3. Knighton, Tess (1997). " G. Gabrieli Music for San Rocco (record review) ". Gramophones.
  4. ^ Giovanni Gabrieli in the Find a Grave database . Retrieved December 3, 2015. : The grave is relatively far back in the right aisle.
  5. Eggebrecht, p. 64ff.
  6. Canzon septimi toni no. 2: Sacrae symphoniae, Venice, 1597, for eight-part brass choir . June 6, 2018.
  7. ^ IU Office of Creative Services, iuweb @ Trombone Area: Brass: Academic Departments: Departments, Offices & Services: Jacobs School of Music: Indiana University Bloomington .
  8. Giovanni Gabrieli - ArkivMusic .
  9. ^ Concerti di Andrea, et di Gio. Gabrieli (...) a 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, et 16 (Andrea and Giovanni Gabrieli) - ChoralWiki .
  10. ^ Sacrae symphoniae, Liber 1 (Gabrieli, Giovanni) - IMSLP / Petrucci Music Library: Free Public Domain Sheet Music .
  11. ^ Canzoni per sonare con ogni sorte di stromenti . Alessandro Raverii. June 6, 2018.
  12. ^ Canzoni per sonare con ogni sorte di stromenti (Raverii, Alessandro) - IMSLP / Petrucci Music Library: Free Public Domain Sheet Music .
  13. Canzoni et Sonate (1615), C. - Details - AllMusic .