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The brief opening tutti recurs five times, framing a series of episodes in which the soloists cavort in athletic competition, accompanied at first only by the lowest sackbuts and then by the other members of the ten-part band in a subtle display of cumulative orchestration. Gabrieli seems to invent the ethos of the Vivaldian double-violin concerto, over a century before its time.
from notes by Timothy Roberts © 1997