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Giovanni Gabrieli

Maestro of Venetian Renaissance music

16th century Venetian Musicians, anonymous

If Titian represented the summit of Renaisssance art in Venice, Giovanni Gabrieli (c. 1554 – 1612) achieved the same heights in music. He was the nephew and most important student of Andrea Gabrieli.

After his uncle's death in 1586, Giovanni published his works (which Andrea had neglected) and took over his position as organist at St Mark's, continuing in the Venetian School's innovative use of the basilica's exceptional accoustics and spaces, experimenting with different polyphonic harmonies, using multiple choirs and groups of instruments to respond, echo and play off each other (notably in his In Ecclesiis, using four different groups of musicians and singers) creating a sumptuous, richly textured new music that was the envy of Europe.

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Music and Musicians

Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Image by PD Art