Metropolitan Opera Brass & John Sheppard | Sacrae Symphoniae: Antiphonal Motets of Giovanni Gabrieli

Go To Artist Page

Album Links
Met Opera Brass Website

More Artists From
United States - NY - New York City

Other Genres You Will Love
Classical: Chamber Music Classical: Renaissance Moods: Instrumental
Sell your music everywhere
There are no items in your wishlist.

Sacrae Symphoniae: Antiphonal Motets of Giovanni Gabrieli

by Metropolitan Opera Brass & John Sheppard

Antiphonal, multiple choir motets of Giovanni Gabrieli arranged for the Brass Section of one of the world's finest orchestras- download the CD booklet and liner notes free at
Genre: Classical: Chamber Music
Release Date: 

We'll ship when it's back in stock

Order now and we'll ship when it's back in stock, or enter your email below to be notified when it's back in stock.
Sign up for the CD Baby Newsletter
Your email address will not be sold for any reason.
Continue Shopping
available for download only
Share to Google +1

To listen to tracks you will need to update your browser to a recent version.

  Song Share Time Download
1. Buccinate in Neomenia Tuba, Sacrae Symphoniae (Arr. By John Sheppard)
3:10 $0.99
2. O Quam Gloriosa, Sacrae Symphoniae (Arr. By John Sheppard)
3:50 $0.99
3. Nunc Dimittis, Sacrae Symphoniae (Arr. By John Sheppard)
3:34 $0.99
4. Angelus Ad Pastores Ait (Arr. By John Sheppard)
3:04 $0.99
5. Deus, Qui Beatum Marcum, Sacrae Symphoniae (Arr. By John Sheppard)
2:58 $0.99
6. Domine Exaudi Orationem Meam, Sacrae Symphoniae (Arr. By John Sheppard)
2:02 $0.99
7. Mass: Kyrie Eleison, Sacrae Symphoniae (Arr. By John Sheppard)
4:03 $0.99
8. Mass: Gloria - Et in Terra Pax, Sacrae Symphoniae (Arr. By John Sheppard)
3:45 $0.99
9. Mass: Sanctus, Sacrae Symphoniae (Arr. By John Sheppard)
2:33 $0.99
10. Canzon Septimi Toni a 8, Sacrae Symphoniae (Arr. By John Sheppard)
3:19 $0.99
11. Quis Est Iste Qui Venit, Sacrae Symphoniae (Arr. By John Sheppard)
3:37 $0.99
12. Exaudi Deus Orationem Meam, Sacrae Symphoniae (Arr. By John Sheppard)
5:24 $0.99
13. Plaudite, Psallite, Sacrae Symphoniae (Arr. By John Sheppard)
2:54 $0.99
14. Omnes Gentes Plaudite Manibus, Sacrae Symphoniae (Arr. By John Sheppard)
3:31 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
For this, the third Metropolitan Opera Brass recording, our intention was to defy expectations by moving away from the purely operatic repertoire of our previous recordings. To this end we turned to the multi-choir, antiphonal choral motets of Giovanni Gabrieli (ca. 1554-1612).

Gabrieli represents the pinnacle of the Venetian tradition of poly-choral composition for secular and sacred instrumental and choral forms, works that were intended to resonate from the separated choir lofts of the Basilica of San Marco in Venice.

As brass players, Gabrieli embodies our heritage in much the way that string players have Brahms, Bach and Beethoven, singers have Verdi and Puccini and wind players have Mozart. Nothing stirs the blood of a brass player more than reveling in the rich sonorities of a Gabrieli canzona.

These instrumental canzonas and sonatas, however, have been extensively recorded and performed. For this album we chose to focus on the choral motets to, hopefully, make a brand new, groundbreaking contribution to the Gabrieli brass tradition.

I spent many years exploring these motets, transcribing them for brass and then tinkering with the transcriptions in an attempt to achieve an unparalleled effect for the Metropolitan Opera Brass.

The repertoire presented here comes mostly from Gabrieli’s two great compilations, the Sacrae Symphoniae from 1597 and 1615. Although the motets were written to Latin biblical texts from both the old and new testaments, they were often utilized for secular ceremonial occasions of grand pageantry.

In fact, these motets are almost operatic in their majesty- breathtaking and dramatic… more so, certainly, than the actual operas of the era. They differ from the canzonas and sonatas in that there is a bit less interplay of individual lines and the musical language relies more on pitting choir against choir in monumental blocks of sound. There are also many instances of grand pauses followed by dramatic shifts of harmony and time, techniques that are especially effective in resonant acoustics.

As always, with the hectic end-of-season schedule of the Metropolitan Opera, it is a near miracle that this project ever materialized. In fact, it took almost two full years of planning and arranging to finally put all of the puzzle pieces together.

All of the Met musicians involved had just finished a typically demanding season that concluded with Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle just two days before our first session. Their total dedication to and love for the music of Gabrieli, not to mention their contributions of time cannot be overstated.

We recorded into the dead of night in order to accommodate both individual schedules and also the tight time constraints of working at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Recording in New York City presents many challenges, most notably the intrusion of street noise. Our late night sessions certainly helped in this regard. Fortunately, the only noise obstacles we faced during the actual recording were occasional sirens from Amsterdam Avenue, dripping water from recent thunderstorms and squawking from the peacocks that wander the cathedral grounds.

Our peerless recording engineer, Andrew Bove, has often expressed that he regards the recording venue as one of the musicians, living and breathing and as integral to the sound as any of the human players. If ever this would be true of a building, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine is surely alive.

One of the largest cathedrals in the world, the immensity of the interior space was the only place that these transcriptions could have come to life with such nobility. Indeed, the gothic vaulting rang for a full ten seconds after every release. This was a perfect accommodation for the titanic waves of sound in the thunderous fortissimo sections, but also for the gentlest introspective passages that evaporated into the ether in the farthest reaches of the nave.

As homage to the great Gabrieli recordings of the past, we are including, as a bonus track, a new arrangement of Canzon Septimi Toni No. 2, arguably Gabrieli’s most famous instrumental work.

John Sheppard © 2012



to write a review