- Gabrieli was organist at St. Mark's, Venice
- Building of St. Mark's means that music had to be composed specially, encouraged development of polychoral textures and antiphony.
- Used more styles common to the final years of 16th C which were more characteristic of baroque
- basso continuo
- elaborate writing for solo voice
- idiomatic writing for instruments
- writing more homophonically than contrapuntally
- Date of composition uncertain but published posthumously in 1615
Performing Forces + Handling
Scored for 2 four part choral groups - one soloists, instumental ensemble (6 players) and basso continuo realised on organ (maybe plucked instrument lute/theorbo)
- 1st choral group soloistic qualities because of florid writing
- 2nd choral group = 2 altos, tenor + bass, texture is mainly chordal
- Instrumental group = 3 cornetts, violino (viola because of range) and 2 trombones.
- 2 organs in St Mark's at this time large one had 9 stops which is small compared to other European church organs.
- Bass line is for organ part so organist would provide suitable harmonisation - realisation in NAM is only editoral suggestion.
- First 30 bars continuo instruments are accompaniment
Texture is varied, includes monody (melody + continuo accompaniment), polyphony, imitative counterpoint, homophony and antiphony.
- b1-5 monody
- b6-12 antiphony with initially homophonic chorus and imitation
- b13-24 monody
- b25-31 antiphony with homophonic chorus and imitation b29
- b31-39 6 part instumental ensemble begins homophonically becomes more contrapuntal with imitation
- b39-61 alto + tenor duet, contrapuntal instrumental + continuo accompaniment
- b62-68 alto + tenor solo with instrumental + continuo
- b68-94 countertenor + baritone solo + organ continuo
- b95-101 countertenor + baritone solo + chorus + organ continuo
- b102-129 Chrous, tutti, increasingly polyphonic, 2 canons combines at b114 between chrous alto and tenor and between soloists.
General tonality is A minor but most cadences end in major (tierce de picarde) and there is strong aeolian elements in melodic lines.
- fleeting shifts between C and D majors
- Shift to C b14
- Shift to G b17
- Shift to E min with imperfect cadences b19-21
- passing references to G minor
- distant key of B minor
- ambiguity by unrelated chords b102
- dominant pedal in A minor
- plagal cadence at end
I, IV and V in root or first inversion occasional use of VIIb, suspensions, consonant 4ths, passing notes and sometimes secondary 7ths and dissonances.
- use of 6/4s with no preparation of resolution b6 beat 3
- switch from major to minor after a perfect cadence b34
- augmented chord with secondary 7th b31
- juxtaposition of unrelated root position triads b102-3
- unprepared dominant 7ths b104,105,110,111, 113
- variable harmonic rhythm with fast chord changes in homophonic passages.
- Characteristic of 16thC polyphony - hint of plainsong
- 'new' elements are use of short motifs and florid ornamentation
- Conjunct lines at opening
- Aeolian mode
- Repetition of short motif b3-5
- sequential repetitions
- unusual passing angularity in alto b43-44
- florid ornamentation b68-69
Rhythm + Metre
- Rhythmic variety
- Dotted notes, tied notes and syncopation
Text and word setting
- Text is anonymous suitable for festival in St Mark's
- Chorus restricted to singing alleluia
- Main part of text is sung by soloists
- Accented syllables of Latin fall on stronger beats
- Syllabic and mellismatic writing
- Word painting for 'Deus'