- Intonazione del primo tono, for organ (00:29)
- Intonazione del secondo tono, for organ (00:28)
- Angelus ad Pastores, motet for 12 voices (02:54)
- Intonazione del terzo e quarto toni, for organ (00:40)
- Regina coeli laetare, motet for 12 voices (02:06)
The Glory of Gabrieliby E. Power Biggs
Reissues in Sony's Great Performances line are often met with skepticism, for even with the incentives of direct stream digital remastering, generous bonus tracks, reproduced LP cover art, and original liner notes, Columbia's analog recordings from the 1960s are often flawed documents that collectors may desire but others may find less than satisfactory in sound and musical quality. However, there are occasions when the label performs a service beyond meeting collectors' needs, and by restoring this album to its rightful place in the catalog, Sony reminds us of the importance of historic preservation in more than just the recording arts. The Glory of Gabrieli was first released in 1968 and caused a sensation for its marvelous antiphonal performances by the Gregg Smith Singers, the Texas Boys Choir, and the Edward Tarr Brass Ensemble, conducted by Vittorio Negri and accompanied on organ by the inimitable E. Power Biggs. Yet even more sensational was the phenomenal sound of this vibrant stereo recording, which captured the magnificent acoustics of San Marco, Venice, with breathtaking fidelity. Listen to the lively reverberation of the crisscrossing choirs and brass in "Plaudite, Psallite," the stirring echo at the conclusion of "In ecclesiis," or the consort's aural halo behind the solo voices in the "Three Mass Movements," and no further argument is necessary about the worth of this landmark recording. More than that, though, this album drew international attention to the plight of San Marco and other deteriorating buildings in Venice, and also played a key role in bringing the music of Giovanni Gabrieli to a public that had not heard much of his work beyond his oft-cited "Sonata pian e forte." So for its artistic merit, its advancement of early music, and its significance in the struggle to preserve Venice's buildings, this reissue deserves its long-delayed honors in the Great Performances series and a place in all music lovers' libraries.
- Release Date:
Performance CreditsE. Power Biggs Primary Artist
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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In the 1970's I first purchased, and still own, the LP of the recording of this ambitious project which also has the same photograph of the apse of St. Mark's on the cover. The collection contains some of the most familiar principal choral works of Giovanni Gabrieli as well as some of his more obscure works. It's important to note that the original recording was done in the late 60's and all performances were executed inside of St. Mark's basilica, Venice - the very building used by Gabrieli centuries ago. Both period and contemporary instruments were used, including an organ brought in just for the occasion and voiced in the Italian style of Gabrieli's time. Gabrieli's style is "on the edge" of "church music" of its time both in instrumentation and rhythmic variations compared, for example, to Palestrina due to the political power of Venice which enabled a fair amount of independence from Rome's liturgical style. The choral performances of his principal pieces are outstanding. I believe the attempt to capture the complete set of nuances of sound captured in the LP recording was the best possible due to the age of the original recording. Lost in the translation are some of the tremendous blends of the multi-choral layering and instrumentation, especially the brass, but only in places. Over all it was a thrill to finally have this CD available for purchase and listening. I highly recommend it.