• No products in the cart.

Canzone e Sonate No.8 (1615) By Giovanni Gabrieli


Digital Download

Gabrieli’s Canzone e Sonate No.8 (1615) is written for 3 Trumpets and 5 Trombones.

This piece stands as one of Gabriel’s notable achievements, showcasing his adeptness in exploiting the contrast between a high and a low choir. It also serves as an intriguing example of assigning the ritornello function to a singular gesture— a straightforward yet evocative four-note chordal progression featuring an augmented sixth chord. Referred to as a “gesture” for lack of a better term, this motif recurs fourteen times throughout the composition, with variations in partwriting while maintaining consistent chordal structure. Initially introduced following a brief imitative passage centered on a sequentially themed motif, this gesture reappears after each new section, typically initiated by one choir and echoed by the full ensemble.

Beyond this recurring motif, the primary fascination of the piece lies in its manipulation of texture. Among double-choir compositions of the time, none exploit the contrast between the two choirs as effectively as this one. The composition features abundant antiphonal writing, characterized by rapid exchanges between the two groups. However, these exchanges remain dynamic in nature, eschewing static repetition and instead complementing each other in a harmonious interplay. A notable passage illustrating Gabrieli’s skillful orchestration occurs starting at bar 82, where distinct units for the upper and lower choirs gradually converge into a more chordal tutti, showcasing a progressive buildup of intensity. Additionally, the hocket-like effect introduced at bar 72, where the lower choir echoes the chords of the upper choir with a slight temporal delay, adds a unique dimension to the canzona repertoire.

While numerous examples of Gabrieli’s ingenuity and mastery of sonority abound throughout the composition, truly appreciating these remarkable effects is best experienced through performance. Notably, the original manuscript provides no specific instrumentation for this piece, allowing for interpretive flexibility. However, as with most works in this edition, the brass parts have been transposed down by a tone.

This composition exemplifies Gabrieli’s artistic prowess in orchestrating contrasting choirs, skillfully weaving together diverse textures to create a rich and immersive musical experience.

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

Additional information



Book Type


File Size in MB





There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Canzone e Sonate No.8 (1615)”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You don't have permission to register