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Posted October 1, 2010
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.
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