Gabrieli Family

   Prominent musicians of Venice, closely connected with the basilica of St. Mark and distinguished as performers, composers, and teachers. Andrea Gabrieli (ca. 1520-1586) may have begun as a singer at St. Mark's as early as 1536, but the first solidly documented event of his career there is his becoming second organist in 1564; he was promoted to first organist in 1585. Noted for his effort to make music dramatic, Andrea published his first madrigal in 1554. The first published collection devoted exclusively to his work was the Sacrae Cantiones /Sacred Songs (1565). He also composed sacred music, including both masses and motets. He provided music for a dramatic presentation of an Italian translation of Sophocles' Oedipus Rex, and the republic itself commissioned him to compose music for celebrations of the great naval victory at Lepanto (1571) and for a state visit by King Henry III of France. His most distinguished pupil was his nephew Giovanni (1557-1612), who succeeded him as second organist of St. Mark's in 1585 and wrote both sacred and secular music. Giovanni never became first organist and seems to have been recognized as a greater composer than performer. He spent four years (1576-1580) at the court of the duke of Bavaria.

Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. . 2004.

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