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Canzone e Sonate No.5 (1615) By Giovanni Gabrieli


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Gabrieli’s Canzone e Sonate No.5 (1615) is written for 4 Trumpets and 3 Trombones or 4 Trumpets, Horn, and 2 Trombones. This edition includes alternative parts so you can perform with whatever instrumentation you prefer.

This composition stands out within the 1615 collection due to a notable departure from the conventional structure observed in most pieces of this era. Unlike its counterparts, it lacks a distinct main theme or ritornello. Instead, its defining feature lies in its textural variation, characterized by alternating sections showcasing the full ensemble and passages spotlighting three low instruments, predominantly centered around a decorated I progression. This emphasis on textural diversity plays a pivotal role in shaping the overall musical landscape of the piece. Notably, certain sections juxtapose groupings of three instruments, mirroring the contrasting dynamics often seen between the two choirs in a standard double-choir canzona.

In terms of instrumentation, the brass parts have been transposed down by a tone, while the original manuscript provides no specific instructions regarding instrumentation, allowing for interpretive flexibility in performance.

This compositional approach challenges traditional notions of thematic development and formal structure, opting instead for a nuanced exploration of textural contrasts and instrumental interactions. By eschewing a central theme or ritornello, the piece invites listeners to engage with its intricate layers of texture and instrumentation, offering a refreshing departure from the conventions of its time.

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

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