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Antiphonal Music of Gabrieli [Enhanced, Super Audio CD - DSD]

Giovanni Gabrieli , William Brade , Johann Chistoph Pezel , Orlande de Lassus , Antony Holborne Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Composer: Giovanni Gabrieli, William Brade, Johann Chistoph Pezel, Orlande de Lassus, Antony Holborne
  • Audio CD (March 28, 2000)
  • Please Note: Requires SACD-compatible hardware
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Enhanced, Super Audio CD - DSD
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00004SH1W
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #558,360 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great find June 14, 2000
First, a word of explanation about the contents of this recording is in order. Tracks 1-13 consist exclusively of Gabrieli's music (canzons and sonatas) played by the Chicago, Cleveland, and Philadelphia Brass Ensembles (some of the pieces only call for two "choirs" of instruments, so the groups alternate in the performances). Tracks 14-32 consist exclusively of Frescobaldi's music - some of it for organ only and some for brass and organ. This music is performed by E. Power Biggs on the organ and the Boston Brass Ensemble (recorded at Harvard University in the Busch-Reisinger museum). The music of the two composers was recorded at seperate times (Gabrieli in 1968 and Frescobaldi in 1959) and from what I gather initially released seperately, but then later combined in this re-release.
Gabrieli's music consists of canzons and sonatas (his titles for them). A canzon is a very formal piece: it consists of exposition (each of the instruments enters with the theme in formal imitation and contrapuntal fun follows - it's fugue-ish, but I don't know if these sections actually qualify as fugues in technical terms) followed by development (subject fragments enter the conversation in various forms and are played back and forth between the choirs) and then finally a closing section which is a restatement of the beginning (recapitulation, it seems). The sonatas share similar form - unfortunately I'm not sure of the exact similarities and differences. I suspect that what Gabrieli calls a sonata would not fit the later Classical qualifications for being called a sonata, but certainly they share many characteristics. Frescobaldi's music consists of music for organ alone and for combined organ and brass.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Transfer of a Landmark Recording August 26, 2002
After reading the above reviews I felt strongly compelled to add my two cents. Let's put this recording in its proper context: the Gabrieli portion of the release is perhaps the greatest symphonic brass recording ever made. There have been other outstanding brass recordings since the late 1960's, many making use of digital technology, but none can touch these performances for the sheer caliber of playing. The Gabrieli works capture the brass sections of three of the five class A orchestras at the peak of their game, at the end of the tyrant/conductor era when all five orchestras--especially the brass sections-sounded so remarkably different (sadly not so true today). I grew up with these recordings and wore out several LP copies--like so many others who aspired to be orchestral brass players.
The SACD transfer is the best version of the recordings yet. Played side-by-side with the regular CD release, the SACD has markedly superior separation, placement and clarity. It also unfortunately shows all the cosmetic flaws of the original analog recording. Microphone distortion in high volume passages and reverberation at the end of some the works (Andrew Kazdin, what were you thinking?) is all the more glaring on the SACD disc. However, I can more than live with these detractions considering the transparency of the sound on the new release.
Unless you're a brass player or serious fan, listening to this entire recording in one sitting may be a bit much (this is, after all, a brass recording). Instead I recommend listening to tracks 1, 3, 6, 7, 9, 11, and 13 to get the best idea of the disc.
I have other SACD recordings that sound better, but none that I enjoy more than this one. If you're a fan of brass music, this release is an absolute must. Six stars.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The original Super-band October 2, 2003
I was a music student at university when this first came out (and no, I'm not a brass player). This recording created an absolute sensation. We all knew, or knew of, all these musicians - they were individual superstars of the classical world - and we had spent hours listening to them and debating their relative merits and that of their orchestras. Now here they were all together! It defied belief.
I think I wore my first copy of the LP flat, I played it so much. 35 years later I can still hear it if I close my eyes.
Few of us knew anything about Gabrieli, so our admiration for the incredible musicianship on display also brought us into the whole new world of Renaissance music. (Younger people probably couldn't believe this part, but the Early Music revolution was still some ways off. This was all new then.)
All the above comments apply to the Gabrieli part of the recording. Until I bought it and opened it up I didn't realise that Sony was giving us the other [Glorious Sound of Brass] LP in the same package. I personally don't find that portion of the disc nearly as successful... it's good, but not a standout. Doesn't matter: the Gabrieli alone is worth the price of admission.
Sound is excellent - better than the CD of course, but also even better than the LP - much more apparent sound stage and the subtle differences between the various players' sounds are more readily noticed.
[One point of argument with the only low rating... it's a brass record. Says so right on the cover. Picture of all those cats with trumpets and such. Why are you surprised? Seems a bit perverse to criticise a brass record for having too much brass. Don't want an hour of brass? Buy something else. This isn't supposed to be an SACD demo disc - it's about the music, silly.]
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS IS NOT A CD THAT YOU CAN PLAY ON YOUR NORMAL CD PLAYER!
this is PROBABLY a great disk... i know the corresponding vinyl recordings quite well, and hoped that this disk would offset my lack of vinyl playback options... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Frater Maheswaradas
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING
I have had the regular CD version of this album for several years. When I found out that it was also produced in SACD format, I immediately sought it out. Read more
Published on February 14, 2010 by wynton smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Required listening
This recording of Gabrieli's music brought together the greatest compilation of talent in history in any profession and the performance is incredible. Read more
Published on April 17, 2008 by Glenn Jarrell
4.0 out of 5 stars Great sound ,but sadly only 2.0 Stereo
I was pleased with this SACD recording,however it would have earned 5 stars if it had been multi-channel(ie. 5.1).

Edd Kerr; iegolden@shaw.ca
Published on April 14, 2006 by 'Space Captain'
1.0 out of 5 stars A trap for the unwary
This CD may well be lovely - that's why I ordered it. Unhappily, it is recorded in a special custom proprietory SONY format ("Super Audio") which (according to Sony... Read more
Published on December 10, 2004 by Anthony Ratliffe
4.0 out of 5 stars Clarity
Very nice and clear, if you like brass, buy this disc.
Published on January 25, 2002 by Gregory Wiktor
5.0 out of 5 stars Transcendent Healing Beauty
If I tried to convey in words how beautiful this music is, I'm afraid I would only prove how my poetic skills fall apart when I'm overwhelmed by beauty. Read more
Published on September 10, 2001 by Richard D. Lakey
2.0 out of 5 stars for die-hard brass fans only
Brass instruments always highlighted the shortcomings of the CD format. That's perhaps why Sony brought out this disk, to show that SACD can portray the sound of trumpets, etc. Read more
Published on August 26, 2001 by Philip Greenspun
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