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Biography
Giovanni Gabrieli (c. 1554/1557-1612), nephew of Andrea Gabrieli, was an influential Italian composer and organist, a paragon of the Venetian school whose work embodies the transition from late-Renaissance to early-Baroque.

St. Mark's Basilica figures prominently in Gabrieli's career and innovations.  It was there that he won the competition to succeed Claudio Merulo as first organist (a position which he then ceded to his beloved uncle, placing himself in second position), securing his livelihood and access to an unusual creative center. 

St. Mark's has physically separate sectioning which enabled the juxtaposition of multiple groups of musicians, vocalists and soloists, often performing different, complimentary parts (i.e. antiphonal music).  With these facilities Gabrieli expanded the amount of voices and instruments used and the range to which they were used, often carefully orchestrating the ensembles to offset each other in a manner resembling polyphony or counterpoint.

Gabrieli's innovations--including polychoralism, use of dynamics (as evidenced in his Sonata pian e forte), concerto form and chorus with orchestral accompaniment, some of which found their genesis in his uncle--were important not just for the development of music but for the influence he exerted over their subsequent wide-scale acceptance by the rest of Europe.  Among his students was Heinrich Sch├╝tz, who with others under Gabrieli's instruction took these new forms back to northern Europe, where they caught on and paved the way for the likes of Bach, Beethoven, Monteverdi, Liszt, and so on.

Among Gabrieli's most important works are his  Sacrae symphoniae (books I & II), concerti grosso, canzone, and the Masses, which deviate from traditional form in their overt borrowing of inspiration from contemporary madrigals, the abandoning of modes for major-minor tonality and tonic-dominant sequences, and the use of ostinato bass that predated the passacaglia.
This biography was most recently edited by...
Simeon - 9 Feb 2010
Simeon - 9 Feb 2010
Simeon - 9 Feb 2010
Simeon - 9 Feb 2010
steven - 8 Feb 2010
Simeon - 8 Feb 2010
Simeon - 8 Feb 2010
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