Gabrieli Sonata pian’ e forte. Background information and performance circumstances. Giovanni Gabrielii () was principal organist and composer at. Sonata pian’ e forte a 8, alla quarta bassa, C composer. Giovanni Gabrieli ( c/). ; No 6 of Sacrae Symphoniae. Giovanni Gabrieli’s Sonata pian e forte: choice of instruments and performance pitch – a new solution. Michael Lawlor. Uploaded by. Michael Lawlor. Giovanni.

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Skip to main content. Log In Sign Up. We start by assessing the clefs and ranges for each part, including the ranges if giovnani parts are transposed down a fourth. These are shown in the following table.

Sonata pian’ e forte – Wikipedia

What are the problems? The cornetto part goes down to g. This is one step lower than the normal bottom note of the instrument. However, some fingering charts from the seventeenth century1 indicate the bottom note of the cornetto to be g, but ability to lip the bottom note down from a to g, maintaining good tone quality and accurate tuning, is difficult. In modern times there is currently no call for players with this skill: The other solution to 1 e.

Speer, Vierfaches Musicalisches Kleeblatt Ulm, but not in edition, which gives a as lowest note.

The violino part goes down to A. The usual modern interpretation of this is to use the tenor violin, what Italians would call a violetta, or sometimes the general name for a bass instrument: This instrument is frequently referred to for the playing of bass parts in high ranging works, often as an alternative to the trombone.

Although German and English writers on music in the 16th and 17th centuries got their Italian terms mixed up, Gabrieli and his publisher, Angelo Gardane, being Italian, should be expected to use the correct Italian terms since they were consistently used in other contemporary publications: Is it possible that the indication alla quarta bassa is not an instruction, but a description?


All of these pieces are brought together into a smaller, more manageable tessitura if the high giovvanni 2 I have chosen not to consider the use of alto cornett on this part since the instrument, if it existed at all, was very rare. My unpublished paper on extant cornetts covers this subject, part of which was presented at the Historic Brass Society Symposium held in Oxford in This means that in the case of Rossi, alla quarta alta indicates the work has already been transposed, so should be played at ee notated pitch.

Is Gabrieli telling us this piece also needs to be transposed down or is he merely highlighting the change in tessitura and telling us that it has already been transposed down a fourth? If we assume the piece should be performed at the notated pitch, what impact does it have on the choice of instruments?

This is a comfortable tessitura and a typical lowest note for cornett writing in gabrleli works for which the instrument is specified during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries even if sometimes specified as an alternative to the violin.

The violino part goes down to d, still too low for the violin but would only require a standard-sized viola. Again, Gabrieli and Gardane would have known that corte part needed a viola and surely would have specified viola in the published work; but there is an alternative solution that means Gabrieli is indeed correct in his designation of violino.

This includes the following advice, the significant comments are underlined: It is still possible to transpose the sonata down a fourth, but playing at the notated pitch brings the work into line with most of the repertoire of this period. Termini musici also refers to octave doubling by violin but does not refer to cornett.


Sonata pian’ e forte | music by Gabrieli |

First, considering the bass of each choir: Looking at the middle parts, choir two appears straight-forward: The picture is not so clear for choir one, where the altus and tenor parts are in mezzo-soprano clef and alto clef, respectively. Both of these parts could easily be played on either alto or tenor trombones or one of each. Alto trombones would make a distinctive sound for the first choir compared with the second, while tenor trombones would provide a more gabrielli sound, with only the individual ranges and tone-colour of the cornett and violin providing differentiation.

The alto sackbut has had a significant come- back in recent years as a result of growing interest in historic brass, however, it would appear that even in the seventeenth century, there was a preference for the fuller tone of the tenor trombone compared with the alto.

Aureleo Virgiliano, Il dolcimelo c. The sonata sonaha been transposed and the marking, alla quarta bassa, is a description and not an instruction.

It should be played at the notated pitch. The cantus should be played by a regular cornett. The septimus should be played an octave higher than written by a violin.

The sextus and bassus parts should be played on bass trombones. The quintus and octavus parts should be played on tenor trombones.

The altus and tenor parts could be played on either alto or tenor trombones or even one of each. Remember me on this computer.

Giovanni Gabrieli

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