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Gabrieli: Sonata Pian e Forte Ch. 175 for Clarinet Choir

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By Gabrieli

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Woodwind Ensemble Clarinet - Level 3 - Digital Download
Composed by Gabrieli. Arranged by James M. Guthrie, ASCAP. Concert, Renaissance, Standards. 59 pages. Jmsgu3 #3464933. Published by jmsgu3 (A0.549213).

Item Number: A0.549213

A musical monument: the first composition to employ "dynamics." Instrumentation:  5 Bb clarinets, 1 alto clarinet, 1 bass clarinet, 1 contralto clarinet, 1 contrabass clarinet. Arranged in two antiphonal choirs. Full Score: 27 pg. 81 ms 4/2, Study Score: 14 pg., Instrumental parts: 2 pg. Duration: 3:45 at half-note = 86.


First of all, Gabrieli preferredsacred vocal and certainly instrumental music. Hence, he concentrated on musicthat consequently took advantage of resonance and likewise reverberation formaximum effect. Seems like Gabrieli may have invented dynamics – or was ratherthe first to indicate them such as in his Sonata Pian’ e Forte.Consequently, he was also a pioneer in spatial techniques. He therefore developedand used very specific notation to indicate instrumentation. Gabrieliexperimented with assembling massive instrumental forces into isolated groupsseparated by space. In this way, he consequently contributed heavily to theBaroque Concertato style.


Gabrieli probably used the layout ofthe San Marco church for his experiments. This is because he worked there as amusician and composer. Furthermore, the church had two choir lofts facingeach other. He certainly used these to create striking spatial effects betweeninstrumental forces. Certainly, many of his works are composed such thata choir or instrumental group could first be heard on one side, thenconsequently followed by a response from the group on the other side. Sometimesthere was probably a third group positioned near the main altar as well.


Above all, Gabrieli studiedcarefully detailed groups of instruments and singers. Furthermore, it seemslike he created precise directions for instrumentation in rather more than twogroups. The instruments, because they could be appropriately situated, couldconsequently be heard with perfect clearness at distant locations. As a result,arrangements which seem bizarre on paper, can in contrast sound perfectlyin-balance.


Finally, Gabrieli published hisfirst motets along with his uncle Andrea's compositions in Concerti (1587).These compositions furthermore indicate considerable usage of dialogueand echo effects. Consequently, here we see low and high choirs with thevariance between their ranges indicated by instrumental accompaniment. Seemslike Gabrieli’s later motets Sacrae Symphoniae (1597) move awayfrom close antiphony. In contrast, he moves towards not simply echoing thematerial, but developing it by sequential choral entrances. Even more, he takesthis procedure to the extreme in the Motet Omnes Gentes. Unlike earlierworks, here the instruments are certainly an essential part of thepresentation. Also, only parts marked: Capella are supposed to be sung.


Hence, after 1605, Gabrieli moves toa much more homophonic style. He writes sections purely for instruments – whichcalls "Sinfonia" – and smaller sections for vocal soloists,accompanied by a basso continuo.


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