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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
|A New Venetian Coronation, 1595|
With cornetts, sackbuts and an all-male consort, Paul McCreesh, the Gabrieli Consort's New Venetian Coronation takes advantage of huge developments in early instruments, performance techniques and research into the pieces that were on the original ...» More
|Gabrieli (G): Sacrae Symphoniae|
‘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)» More