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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA66908
Recording details: March 1997
St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Antony Howell & Julian Millard
Release date: September 1997
Total duration: 4 minutes 34 seconds

'This superb disc … is the very essence of La Serenissima. Masterly performances, alive with authentic detail' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Excellent. The playing is fluent and exhilarating. An excellent recording. The notes are exemplary' (Classic CD)

'Magnificent. The range of color, breadth and depth of sonority and the majestic nobility of the composer's conception are all revealed in a manner even the most expert of modern brass players could not possibly emulate. A superlative disc and a real credit to everyone involved' (Fanfare, USA)

'L'ensemble anglais est aujourd'hui au sommet de son art' (Répertoire, France)

Canzon quarti toni a 15, C185
composer
1597; No 16 of Sacrae Symphoniae

Introduction
Scored for three contrasting five-part choirs, this work is the richest and perhaps most imposing of the collection. However, like all the best orchestrators, Gabrieli refrains from over-using his tutti: the full ensemble is heard in only thirteen of the work’s seventy-one bars. The music starts in the manner of a sonata, with deep harmonies and with one instrument being followed in rhythmic canon by its fellows; later, more canzona-like features emerge, including a brief tripla just before the end.

For Zarlino, the 4th was most lachrymose of the modes, ‘even sadder’ than the 3rd, which itself could ‘move to tears’. The harmony, full of mournful semitones, gravitates repeatedly to E major, usually through a ‘dying fall’ from D minor.

Gabrieli specifies the scoring; the characteristic appearance of a single viola among the wind instruments serves to clarify the texture and also recalls a typical Venetian vocal scoring, in which a solo singer on the top voice of a low ‘choir’ would be accompanied by a group of sackbuts. The rhythms of the viola’s opening bars certainly suggest music ‘to an imaginary text’.

from notes by Timothy Roberts 1997

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