Giovanni Gabrieli, classical music composer

Giovanni Gabrieli image

Giovanni Gabrieli


Giovanni Gabrieli was one of the most influential composers during the transition period between the Renaissance and Baroque periods, and his music represents the culmination of the style of the Venetian School. Furthering developing the polychoral techniques begun by Adrian Willaert, Gabrieli made full use of the unique architectural features of the Venetian cathedrals, in particular, St. Mark's. The many composers that came to Venice during his tenure to study, then carried the unique style back with them to their home countries. Among them, Heinrich Schütz and others brought the style northward to Germany, which would have a lasting impact on the development of music during the Baroque period.

Gabrieli was born in Venice during the 1550s. Little is known of his early life, though it is presumed that he studied with his uncle, Andrea Gabrieli. It is also known that he traveled to Munich to study with the famed Orlando de Lassus, who would be a great influence on the young musician's style. By 1584, however, Gabrieli had returned to Venice, and the following year secured the post of principal organist at St. Mark's Basilica. Following the death of his uncle, he was further granted the post of principal composer. Later, Gabrieli was also named organist at San Rocco, another of Venice's prestigious musical establishments. Beginning in 1606, Gabrieli's health began to significantly decline, and his duties were more and more delegated to his deputies by the church. He died in Venice on August 12, 1612.

Though Gabrieli composed in many of the most common forms of his day, his music is dominated by sacred vocal and instrumental music. Most of his secular vocal music dates from early in his career, and he composed nothing in any of the lighter forms, such as the dance. Apart from his use of the polychoral style begun by Willaert, Gabrieli is also known as the first prominent and influential composer to make use of dynamics. Apart from his own music, Gabrieli was also critical in preserving the music of his uncle. Following Andrea's death, Gabrieli edited and prepared the elder composer's music for publication.

Composer Title Date Action
Giovanni Gabrieli In Ecclesiis 06/24/2013 Play Add to playlist
Giovanni Gabrieli Sonata Pian'e Forte 12/20/2015 Play Add to playlist
Giovanni Gabrieli Canzon à 12 in Echo 12/20/2015 Play Add to playlist
Giovanni Gabrieli O Magnum Mysterium 12/17/2017 Play Add to playlist