VENETIAN ECHOES. Early baroque Venetian music for 10 parts


Thursday 10 August at 7 p.m. Kretinga Franciscan church


I Gemelli (France) and Canto Fiorito (Lithuania)
Musical directors:

Emiliano Gonzalez Toro, tenor (France/Switzerland)

Rodrigo Calveyra, cornetto (Brazil/France)

Artistic director Mathilde Etienne (France)

Cristina Fanelli (soprano), Renata Dubinskaitė (mezzo-soprano), Anders Dahlin (tenor), Nicolas Brooymans (bass)
Bruce Dickey (cornetto), Laura AgutAlexis Lahens (sackbuts), Fabio de Cataldo (bass sackbut), Violaine Cochard (organ)



What place can better express the soul of Venice than the Basilica of San Marco? Nowadays, it still resounds with echoes of past centuries, carrying the same magic and mystery. Its unique architecture gave birth to Venetian polychoral music: composers, aware of the sound shifts caused by the spacing of choirs in different galleries, ingeniously integrated this effect into their works. The resulting stereophonic effect was truly spectacular.

Among these daring composers, the name of the Gabrieli family stands out. Andrea, the uncle, composed over 400 works, mainly vocal sacred music: motets, frequently utilizing two or more choirs, with voices sometimes replaced by instruments.
The peak of Venetian polychorality occurred between the late 1580s and the 1590s when Giovanni Gabrieli, the nephew of Andrea, worked as the organist and principal composer of San Marco. He was the first to provide precise indications of the instruments to be used (including large brass ensembles) and specify nuances in the scores, as well as to develop sumptuous echo effects.

The fame of the music produced in San Marco attracted many composers who then spread these musical innovations throughout Europe. After 1603, the basso continuo made its appearance in the musical practices of San Marco, in addition to the orchestra, soloists, and choirs.

Among the instrumentalists who made these compositions famous and brought renown to Venice was the cornetto player Giovanni Bassano, for whom Andrea Gabrieli composed cornet parts requiring impressive performance technique. Bassano directed several groups of piffari (wind instrument ensembles) in Venice.

At the beginning of the 17th century, musical production in San Marco declined until the arrival of a new maestro di cappella in 1612: Claudio Monteverdi, the author of Vespers, which opened a new and original musical path. The Vespers constitute an abundant and fascinating work, combining prayer and virtuosity, ranging from the intimate to the monumental – the creations of a man who worked for both church and theater. Deeply modern, it exhibits supreme composition skills, particularly through the use of an echo, typical of the Baroque era, which cherishes illusion and wordplay.






Giovanni Gabrieli. O magnum mysterium

Andrea Gabrieli. Angeli, archangeli

Giovanni Gabrieli. Maria Virgo

Cipriano de Rore/Rodrigo Calveyra by Silvestro Ganassi. Ancor che col partire

Andrea Gabrieli. Deus, Deus Meus


Claudio Monteverdi. Nigra sum 

Giovanni Croce. Buccinate in Neomenia Tuba 

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina/ Giovanni Bassano. Benedicta sit sancta Trinitas 

Caterina Assandra. Duo Seraphim

Andrea Gabrieli. Ricercar Arioso

Giovanni Croce. Cantate Domino 

Giovanni Gabrieli. Benedicam Dominum 

Claudio Monteverdi. Venite sitientes ad aqua

Claudio Monteverdi. Audi cœlum 






Founded in 2018 by Emiliano Gonzalez Toro and Mathilde Étienne, the ensemble I Gemelli specializes in 17th century vocal music. Its vocation is to defend the major pieces of this period as well as lesser-known or even unpublished scores. The ensemble has performed at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Opéra de Versailles, Capitole de Toulouse, Victoria Hall in Geneva, Arsenal de Metz, and Angers-Nantes Opéra. He has been invited to the festivals of Ambronay, Sablé, Pontoise, Freiburg, Regensburg, La Moutte, Krakow, Vilnius, Royan, Carouge, Onex, Kretinga, Quimper, to the Concerts d'Automne Tours as well as the Grands Concerts de Lyon. I Gemelli performer the trilogy of Monteverdi’s operas. Its first CD - Cozzolani's Vespro was rewarded by a Choc Classica, Toccata's CD of the month and Diapason d'or in 2019. Next CDs also received various prestigious prizes. In 2022 the ensemble created its own recording label Gemelli Factory.



Vilnius-based early music ensemble Canto Fiorito, directed by cornetto and recorder player Rodrigo Calveyra, is dedicated to the research and performance of medieval, renaissance and baroque music, with a special attention to the musical production of the 17th century in the Lithuanian Grand Duchy and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The ensemble presented Lithuanian musical heritage in Norway, Austria, Slovenia, Stockholm Early Music Festival, festival ‘Musiq’3’ in Brussels and Namur Music Festival in Belgium, performed in “Nomemus” Festival in Sweden, “Via Mediaeval” in Germany, Pordenone Sacred Music Festival in Italy. Canto Fiorito implemented a huge European project “The Hanseatic Way” together with the ensemble Musica Antiqua Salzburg with concerts in Vilnius and Kaunas, Brighton Early Music Festival (UK), Hanseatic Days in Rostock (Germany), festival “Jeunesse” in Vienna, “Glasperlenspiel” Festival in Tartu (Estonia), Bach Chamber Music Festival in Riga and Amsterdam. Canto Fiorito performed operas Alessandro Stradella’s “La Circe” and Johann Sebastiani’s “Pastorello musicale”.