Sunday, 30 December 2007

Sheet music for clarinet ensemble: Gabrieli's Canzon VIII

Giovanni Gabrieli (ca 1555-1612) was a great composerand his music highly spectacular, brilliant and with a richness in rhythms and colours that might surprise those not acquainted with his music or with music of his time.

"Canzon VIII" was originally composed for 2 smaller ensembles of 4 instruments each, a lighter ensemble and a darker ones. These 2 smaller ensembles play in turns for a while but they soon get together. The piece has a very distinctive recurring theme made by a remarkable 5 chords progression, which using concert pitch and today's chord notation I would write as Gm, Bb aug, F# dim, Gm, D.

Another recurring feature are the changes in tempo from 2/2 and 3/4 (marked here as Tenuto). I suggest, as a rough reference, to keep the length of the whole bar of the 3/4 parts slightly longer than the bars in the 2/2 parts. While playing the piece you will then find your own tempo.

The arrangement presented here is made for a clarinet ensemble composed of 5 Bb clarinets and 2 bass clarinets. It might sound odd that I use only 7 instruments instead of 8, but this was the kind of ensemble I played with at the time I made the arrangement...

As usual I provide a ZIP file including PDF files for score and parts, a MIDI file and the source files in Sibelius format.

Download Gabrieli's Canzon VIII for clarinet ensemble

You can find more information on Giovanni Gabrieli on Wikipedia, on the early music portal Goldberg, and from a CD note on the Naxos website.

As usual, if you find the piece interesting, if you are going to play it or if you find any mistake in my arrangement, please let me know and leave a commentary on this page.