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Canzone e Sonate No.13 (1615) By Giovanni Gabrieli


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Gabrieli’s Canzone e Sonate No.13 (1615) is written for 4 Trumpets and 4 Trombones or 4 Trumpets, 2 Horn, and 2 Trombones. This edition includes alternative parts so you can use either ensemble.

Gabrieli’s 1615 collection of instrumental music serves as a pivotal publication, marking both the inception and culmination of certain musical trends. In examining this collection, we find it straddling the divide between the Renaissance and the Baroque periods, encapsulating a transition in musical style and expression. This essay will explore the significance of Gabrieli’s work within this context, focusing on its innovative qualities, performance considerations, and editorial methods.

Gabrieli’s collection represents a departure from conventional norms of the time, particularly evident in his treatment of the Venetian canzona genre. Unlike earlier compositions by Maschera and Viadana, Gabrieli’s canzonas exhibit a distinctive solemnity at their outset, gradually intensifying in rhythmic complexity-a departure from the lightness typically associated with the French chanson influence. This departure is further underscored by Gabrieli’s adoption of thematic development over the traditional continuous structure based on imitation.

Central to Gabrieli’s compositions in the 1615 volume is the use of thematic writing, a departure from the prevalent continuous structure of the preceding era. This thematic development, a relatively novel concept in the sixteenth century, is prominently featured across many of the pieces, often manifesting through ritornellos or recurring motifs.

Additionally, Gabrieli’s exploration of sequential writing, while rare in the Renaissance period, anticipates the compositional techniques that would come to define Baroque instrumental music.

Gabrieli’s innovative approach extends beyond thematic development to encompass new textures and scoring techniques. Each piece in the 1615 collection is scored for a unique combination of instruments, a departure from the standardized configurations prevalent in late sixteenth-century music. This experimentation with texture is exemplified in pieces like Canzon XVII, which deliberately leaves gaps in the texture to highlight contrasting instrumental voices.

Take a look at some sample pages to the left and then click above for an immediate PDF download.

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