Gabrieli, Andrea


Gabrieli, Andrea

Ricerari a quattro Nos. II, III e V

SKU: 1839 Category:



Gabrieli, Andrea

Ricerari a quattro Nos. II, III e V

Ricercar II “del secondo tuono” p.5
Ricercar III “del secondo tuono” p.23
Ricercar V “del sesto tuono” p.30

The evidence for Andrea Gabrieli’s early life and music education is fragmentary. Procurator records in the Atti della Procuratia at San Marco provide some evidence for Gabrieli’s early employment in Venice, referring to Gabrieli as “ser organista a San Geremia.”1 Elsewhere, Gabrieli is linked to the city of Verona. An early publication (1554) produced for Vincenzo Ruffo (c.1508-1587) suggests that Gabrieli had some connection to Verona Cathedral. Gabrieli’s association with Ruffo and the city of Verona is further strengthened by the production of a piece intended for the Accademia Filarmonica of Verona.2 A young Gabrieli is also linked with Orlande de Lassus, with whom he traveled, along with the Duke of Bavaria (Albrecht V), to the coronation of Maximillian II in Frankfurt.3

Whatever the effect these experiences may have had in shaping the young Gabrieli, none would shape his legacy as much as the Basilica di San Marco. When Adrian Willaert (c.1490-1562) was appointed maestro di cappella in 1527, San Marco established itself as the center of sixteenth century Venetian musical culture. Willaert’s presence attracted some of the finest talent in Venice. In 1557, Claudio Merulo (1533-1604) won an organist position at San Marco, a position for which Gabrieli applied unsuccessfully. In 1565, three years after the death of Willaert, the great music theorist Gioseffo Zarlino (1517-1590) became maestro di capella at San Marco. Gabrieli again applied for an organist position at San Marco in 1566, this time winning, and began sharing organist duties with Merulo. Several prominent performers soon joined San Marco. The Dalla Casa brothers, Girolamo, Giovanni, and Nicolò, joined the ranks of San Marco in 1568.4 The cornetist and composer Giovanni Bassano (1560/61-1617) joined San Marco as a singing teacher in 1583, and was later promoted to the head of the instrumental ensemble in 1601.5

From this assemblage of capable Venetian musicians emerged a musical form that would soon become central to Italian instrumental music: the ricercare. Early Venetian ricercari were teaching pieces intended as instructional tools for young musicians.6 While the ricercare still retained this purpose, the genre soon grew beyond its pedagogical origins. Some of the earliest known published keyboard ricercari were composed by Marc Antonio Cavazzoni (1490-1560) and his son Girolamo Cavazzoni (1525-c.1577).7 Like Gabrieli, Marc Antonio Cavazzoni was employed as an organist in Venice, and developed his ricercare technique within these duties. Only two ricercari of the elder Cavazzoni survive; both appear in his Recerchari, motetti, canzoni of 1523. Intended as improvisatory introductions to motets, these works show a looser treatment of dissonance and voice-leading than is typical of motets and other polyphonic genres of the period.8 This relaxation of harmonic rules became a hallmark of the improvised keyboard ricercare…

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Score Data


Repertoire Explorer


Chamber Music


210 x 297 mm





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