1 800 222 6872

Andrea Gabrieli (1532-1585): Masses & Motets / I Cantori di San Marco; Gemmani

Notes & Reviews:

While during most of the sixteenth century vocal polyphonic music had steadily focused on a four-part structure, around the fifteen-seventies the number of parts underwent a remarkable increase, particularly in sacred music, all over Italy. In 1560 a six-part composition was still regarded as an unusual piece for special occasions, but in 1580 this number of parts was considered not very high, since in the most important festivities, music formed of eight or more parts was performed, and, particularly in Venice at the end of the century, pieces formed of no less than twenty or more parts were composed. A typical example of this case is the Concerti published by Giovanni Gabrieli in 1587, one of the cornerstone works of the musical production of the second half of the sixteenth century: many Italian and foreign composers admitted that they had obtained new ideas from this work, where the six- and seven-part pieces appeared to be the most "simple" ones, while the ten-, twelve- and sixteen-part pieces were predominant. The four-part structure, which had been customary up to a few years before, seemed to be obsolete by then. The structure of these polyvocal, often also polychoral, pieces, is not particularly complex. Their appeal consists chiefly in the pursuit of grandeur, the dynamic play of the choral masses, the restless rhythm of the sequences of chords, and the search for a sound that is rich in harmonics. We cannot be sure, on the contrary, of the liturgical use of the six- and seven-part motets contained in this collection...

American Record Guide, July/August 2015
The ensemble of mixed voices produces a keenly pointed sound of nearly flawless precision and intonation. These are not highly subjective performances, but they display a secure sense of phrase that keeps the music moving with a persuasive feeling of purpose and destination. Gemmani has been director of music at St Mark's Basilica since 2000 and a professor at the Benedetto Marcello Conservatory in Venice since 1990. He founded I Cantori di San Marco in 2010 chiefly to perform music from the basilica's extensive archives.


There are currently no reviews, be the first one!
Login or Create an Account to write a review

Also Purchased