A Venetian Coronation 1595

Program: #06-08   Air Date: Feb 13, 2006

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And finally, the "greatest hit" in the world of liturgical recreations, as Paul McCreesh and his Gabrieli Consort recreate his best-selling recording in a vast program that closed out the 2005 Utrecht Festival.

We continue our long and fruitful association with our partners at Radio Netherlands in presenting a series of concerts from the Holland Festival of Early Music at Utrecht. Please visit their web site, which will provide more in-depth information about the music and performers we hear as well as more information about the festival:

All of the music on this program is performed by the Gabrieli Consort and Players directed by Paul McCreesh, who writes:

In the sixteenth century the San Marco in Venice had a double task: the basilica was not only the private chapel of the doge, but also the main church of the state, thus playing an important part in the political life in Venice. The celebration of the coronation of doge Marino Grimani on 25 April 1595 was an exceptionally extravagant occasion even by Venetian standards. Grimani rewarded his new followers generously and this first great feast would certainly not be the last: during the ten years of his reign he ordained many official celebrations, which formed the backdrop of the enormous musical wealth of this period, especially the exceptional works by Giovanni Gabrieli. In 1595 Baldassare Donato was maestro di cappella of the San Marco. However, his organist Giovanni Gabrieli was the one responsible for a lot of large-scale festive music, all in line with the possibilities of the, for those days, enormous number of musicians: at least sixteen singers and dozens of instrumentalists, including various organs. Musicians played on at least seven places around the altar. The spatial placement of two, three or four vocal and instrumental groups is one of the main characteristics of Venetian church music. However, it is quite likely that the musicians did not sing directly towards the audience, but turned towards the altar and the seat of the doge, in other words not filling the basilica, but the ears of the dignitaries with sound. A lot of the music bears traces of this: even in the most grandiose polychoral works characteristics of chamber music can be found in the ensemble playing between voices and instruments. A Venetian Coronation is a reconstruction of the coronation Mass as it may have sounded on 27 April 1595. Paul McCreesh was one of the first to venture such a speculative restoration, naturally thoroughly studying the Venetian music-liturgical customs of those days. This reconstruction will be played for the first time in the Netherlands at the final concert of the Early Music Festival 2005, dedicated to Ten Centuries of Polyphony. All corners of the hall of Vredenburg will be used to perform this polychoral and highly polyphonic tour de force in the best way possible. A Venetian Coronation already gives a taste of the Festival of 2006, that will celebrate its 25th anniversary with an abundance of rarely performed seventeenth-century Italian music.

Giovanni Gabrieli (ca.1554/7-1612)
Intonazione ottavo tono for organ, 1593
Canzona XIII à 12, 1597


Chant (procession)

Cesare Bendinelli (?-1617)
Fanfare: Sonata 333
Magnus Thomsen
Toccata I
Trumpet procession

Andrea Gabrieli (1532/3-1585)

Intonazione primo tono for organ, 1593
Kyrie à 5, 1587
Christe à 8, 1587
Kyrie à 12, 1587
Gloria à 16, 1587


Giovanni Gabrieli
Intonazione terzo e quarto toni for organ, 1593
Epistula II and Corinthios 13:11-13

Giovanni Gabrieli
Graduale: Canzona VIII à 8, 1615
Evangelium Secundum Joannem 15:26-27, 16:1-4

Andrea Gabrieli
Intonazione settimo tono for organ
Offertorium: Deus qui beatum Marcum à 10, 1597


Andrea Gabrieli
Sanctus & Benedictus à 12, 1587

Cesare Bendinelli
Fanfare: Sarasinetta

Giovanni Gabrieli
Elevatie: Sonata VI à 8 pian e forte, 1597
Pater noster

Giovanni Gabrieli
Agnus Dei: Canzona IX à 10, 1597
Intonazione quinto tono all quarta bassa (organ), 1593

Andrea Gabrieli
Communio: O sacrum convivium à 5, 1565

Cesario Gussago (active 1599-1612)
Deo Gratias: Sonata La Leona for two organs

Giovanni Gabrieli
Motet: Omnes gentes à 16, 1597

Composer Info

Giovanni Gabrieli (ca.1554/7-1612), Cesare Bendinelli (?-1617), Andrea Gabrieli (1532/3-1585)

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