Andrea Gabrieli (1532-1585) was an Italian composer and
organist of the late Renaissance. The uncle of the
somewhat more famous Giovanni Gabrieli, he was the
first internationally renowned member of the Venetian
School of composers, and was extremely influential in
spreading the Venetian style in Italy as well as in
Details on Gabrieli's early life are sketchy. He was
probably a native of Venice, most likely the parish of
S. Geremia. He may have been a pupil of Adrian Willaert
at St. Mark's in Venice at an early age. There is some
evidence that he may have spent some time in Verona in
the early 1550s, due to a connection with Vincenzo
Ruffo, who worked there as maestro di cappella – Ruffo
published one of Gabrieli's madrigals in 1554, and
Gabrieli also wrote some music for a Veronese academy.
Gabrieli is known to have been organist in Cannaregio
between 1555 and 1557, at which time he competed
unsuccessfully for the post of organist at St.
St. Mark’s Cathedral in Venice became a center for
instrumental music during the 16th century. Andrea
Gabrieli was the organist at St. Mark’s. Gabrieli ‘s
Ricercar in the 12th Mode was written for four
instruments (soprano, Alto, Tenor and bass). A Ricercar
was a polyphonic instrumental composition employing
imitation. This piece was an early step toward more
elaborate instrumental music that developed in the
This example of Renaissance music lets one imagine
dancing in royal European Courts. The tempo is lively.
The rythmn changes as the form changes. The tone color
is not too dense with the use of a flute ensemble.
Although originally written for voice, I created this
arrangement for Flute Quartet (Piccolo, 2 Flutes and