Early Baroque Polychoral Sacred Music.
Cori Spezzati meaning Split Choirs and Antiphony characterise Gabrieli's music.
Seconda Pratica: the new early Barqoue music such as madrigals that Gabrieli was inspired by. It became a new trend.
Garbrieli wrote instrumental and vocal music both sacred and secular. He was best known for his sacred choral music. His insturmental music also contained antiphonal passages (another set work in the anthology).
His trip to Munich where he met Lassus was probably the start of Gabrieli's career. Lassus underpinned the Renaissance polyphony with more melodic and harmonic structure.
The tonal structure switches between F major, A major and A minor however it still has a very MODAL feel peppered with false relations and tierce de picardies.
However this piece is not structed by its tonality.
It is unified by the refrains giving it an almost rondo structure.
However it is easier for one to think of it as verse-chorus structure.
The whole piece has a great climatic feel building towards its thrilling ending.
1st Section and 1st Refrain
Opening with a COUNTER-TENOR solo in a minor mode. There are 2 distinctive sections. 1-- made up of long note. 2-- made up of faster moving note values.
The modal melodic lineis almost like a chant following the same general shape of PLAIN CHANT, mainly in long notes punctuated by the refrain.
1st REFRAIN of Alleluja is in F MAJOR moving to the home key of A MINOR. Again there are 2 sections. 1-- in triple time, joyous and upbeat. 2-- more serene using counterpoint.
The harmonies move from the DOMINANT of C major up a tone achieved by launching into a new key via the DOMINANT.
2nd Section and 2nd Refrain
Opening with a BARITONE solo very similar to that of the opening counter-tenor with 2 distinct sections.
There is STEP-WISE MODULATION typical of Gabrieli on the phrase (omni- loco) moving: Am---C---F---Am.
By 18th century standards that is a crude modulation playing on the relationships of a minor 3rd.
There are lots of suspensions.
2nd Refrain is identical to the first but with a Baritone solo.
Up to now we have only heard the vocalists and the organ CONTINUO with FIGURED BASS. Now the instruments appear.
There is a MULTI-PART structure with very versatile material played by: cornetts, trombones and a viol/ violin (which would have been pitched like today viola).
The texture remains simple however complex it may sound in the dotted rhythm section. It has the feel of a MADRIGAL.
From this point the instruments play an integral part within the music playing antiphonally as the singers have. However harmonically little has happened for them.
4th Section and 3rd Refrain
There is now an ALTO and TENOR DUET with much greater melodic interest. There are some shock harmonies such as a B MAJOR chord.
It is much more complex and the passages are much longer with HARMONIC MEANDERING and strong JUXTAPOSITION of unrelated keys which may sound harsh to us today but it was very typical of the time.
There are strong perfect cadences which unify the section and provide tonal reference points.
The tenor part is almost a MIRROR IMAGE of the alto part retaining their melodic interest. It made sound canonic but it is just ANTIPHONAL IMITATION.
The HARMONIC RHTHYM slows in anticipation of the final cadence and the return of the refrain.
More unrelared keys D---G---F#---B
Instrumental parts become more complex winding themselves around the vocal parts in 3rds at the very end of this section.
The refrain returns with ALTO and TENOR dueting therefore expanding slightly with the extra vocalist.
5th Section and 4th Refrain
Opening with a COUNTER-TENOR and BARITONE DUET with a decorated INTERPOLATION of the word "Deus" in the counter- tenor part reflecting the melodic rhythm of the following section acting as a kind of link.
The HARMONIC RHYTHM is slow moving keeping within a more restricted framework.
MELODIES are fragmented and there is a lot of ANTIPHONY.
There is a sudden change to TRIPLE TIME with the words "vivfanos" meaning give us life- a direct reflection of the meaning of the text.
Apart from the continuo instruments do not play here.
Refrain Returns with counter-tenor and baritone duet and chorus.
Final Section and Final Refrain
The most climatic section before the final refrain. The movement in mainly HOMOPHONIC with uncomplicated HARMONIES.
There are many extented CANONIC MELISMAS particuarly on the word "eternum" in the solo parts.
This is the first time that there is very complex COUNTERPOINT.
FINAL REFRAIN: instruments DOUBLING the vocalists in OCTAVES.
A strong and resounding finish to a piece of music that was very important in the RENAISSANCE and the BAROQUE sacred choral music.