Notes and Editorial Reviews
Hearing Gabrieli's music live is a uniquely transporting aural experience. A recent Pittsburgh Symphony Concert conducted by Mariss Jansons featured three brass choirs placed on the stage and in the left and right balconies, creating marvelous spatial effects. It occurred to me that this would be the perfect music to demonstrate the surround sound capabilities of SACD and DVD Audio. While this new Naxos recording utilizes neither of those technologies, it's pretty impressive on its own, presenting Gabrieli's antiphonal constructions in vivid, three dimensional sound, recorded in London's All Hallows Church. Volume 3 begins with the Canzona in Echo Duodecimi Toni a 10 (1597), which uses two five-part choirs to create some marvelously
imaginative echo effects (a favorite device of baroque composers).
Canzona X of 1615 is one of the more extensive works in this collection, full of spectacular flourishes and elaborate polyphonic passages. Spectacular in another way is the minor mode Canzona Quarti Toni, with its challenging writing for 15 voices in three choirs (mostly in the alto and bass registers). All 13 selections receive splendid performances by the London Symphony Orchestra Brass, a truly world-class ensemble that plays with ringing tone, beautifully blended sonority, and immaculate clarity. Eric Crees, who prepared new editions of Gabrieli's works for this series, conducts with scholarly authority, sparked by evangelical fervor. If you avoided all those "hip" brass ensemble discs in the 80s and 90s, give this a try. You'll be pleasantly surprised.
--Victor Carr Jr., ClassicsToday.com Read less
Works on This Recording
Canzoni et sonate (21): Sonata XX a 22 by Giovanni Gabrieli
John Alley (Organ)
London Symphony Orchestra Brass
Written: Venice, Italy
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