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Canzon Septimi Toni a8
£9.00 – £12.00
- composer: Giovanni Gabrieli
- skill-level: Intermediate
- instrumentation: 2 Soprano saxes, 2 Alto saxes, 2 Tenor saxes, 2 Baritone saxes
Giovanni Gabrieli composed his Canzon septimi toni for the majestic St. Mark’s Cathedral in Venice, where he was organist and principal composer from 1585 until his death. It comes from a collection of music for brass that Gabrieli composed for church use and published in 1597 under the title Sacrae symphoniae . The pieces in the collection are for various combinations of trumpets and trombones, whose players would have been placed antiphonally inside St. Mark’s to take advantage of the church’s acoustics and to clarify the dialogic musical structure of works such as the Canzon . This arrangement recreates the antiphonal effects using two sax quartets. The two groups sometimes alternate and sometimes overlap, using rich contrapuntal textures to build the music to a grand climax. Separating the two groups spatially adds yet more interest to the aural experience. Not technically difficult (in concert Bb major), but the use of minim time signatures and the complex polyphony make it musically more challenging