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The Historic Brass Society Journal, 8 (1997), includes:

Giovanni Gabrieli (ca. 1555-1612): A Thematic Catalogue of his Music with a Guide to the Source Materials and Translations of his Vocal Texts, by Richard Charteris.

Thematic Catalogues, No. 20. Stuyvesant, NY: Pendragon Press, 1996.
ISBN 0-944193-66-1. 19 plates. 597 + xxvi pages.

One reason an overworked scholar might welcome the apocalypse is that, presumably, on that day, bibliographical work will be done. The ongoing growth and cataloguing of libraries, the unearthing of books and manuscripts, and increasingly meticulous documentation of all of this conspire to make catalogues of prints, manuscripts and creative works outdated from the moment of their appearance. Nevertheless, catalogues occasionally appear that so successfully approach comprehensiveness and so thoroughly incorporate recent research that they acquire an authority that makes them the standard for many years to come. Richard Charteris' catalogue of the works of Giovanni Gabrieli is such a work.

Charteris has distinguished himself as one of the foremost experts on the works of Gabrieli through numerous articles on the composer, discovery of over forty new compositions by Gabrieli and over 160 new manuscript sources of his works, collaboration on recorded performances of the works, and completion and revision of the Giovanni Gabrieli Opera Omnia edition (in progress). Charteris' catalogue of Gabrieli's works represents the accumulated fruit of all these varied researches and brings Gabrieli scholarship to a new level; and his assignment of C-numbers to the works themselves is, perhaps, a permissible response to the definitiveness of this work.

The book is copiously cross-referenced. After the usual Preface, Introduction, Acknowledgments, and lists of Illustrations and Abbreviations begins the catalogue of the vocal works. The first three chapters cover the motets of Concerti di Andrea et di Gio: Gabrieli (Venice, 1587), Sacrae Symphoniae (Venice 1597), and Symphoniae Sacrae (Venice 1615), respectively. Chapters four and five cover madrigals and motets, respectively, in printed anthologies and manuscripts. Chapter six covers incomplete motets and miscellaneous works. Chapters seven through nine cover the instrumental works: first, ensemble works from Sacrae Symphoniae (Venice 1597), printed anthologies and manuscripts; then, those from Canzoni et sonate (Venice, 1615), and finally, keyboard works. Chapter ten covers contrafacta, chapter eleven, doubtful works, and chapter twelve, spurious works. In general, works from printed sources appear in the prints' order, and manuscript works are ordered alphabetically. This catalogue completes the core of the book to page 354. The remaining 240 pages include appendices of: I) lost works and sources, II) early prints, III) manuscript sources, IV) dedication translations, V) modern editions, VI) Concordance with Kenton's Index, VII) Discography, VIII) Facsimiles, and IX) Bibliography, as well as indexes of Gabrieli's works by: I) title, II) catalogue number, III) Textual origin and liturgical use, and a fourth index of names.

In the catalogue, each entry receives a title, an incipit of the opening voice, and source lists of early (pre-1700) prints, manuscript sources, and modern (post-1700) editions. Each entry also has a list of references in previous indexes, the text in the original language and English, with discussion of its origin, and commentary on relevant Gabrieli scholarship. The copious documentation in each entry makes the use of abbreviations absolutely essential and fully justifies the abbreviation list in the introduction and the appendices of early prints (II), manuscript sources (III), and bibliography (IX, which includes modern editions). Entries in the discography (appendix VII) are also abbreviated;and, although these items do not appear in the individual work entries in the catalogue proper, the discography concludes with a complete list of all recordings by musical work, in order, including those works which have not yet been recorded.

The catalogue's usefulness is further enhanced by the additional lists, in the appendices of: I) lost works and sources, IV) selected dedication translations, V) chronological list of modern editions, VI) concordance with Kenton's index, and VIII) facsimiles. Beyond these, the indexes per se give access to Gabrieli's works by: I) title, II) C-number, III) textual origin and liturgical use, as well as to all names (IV). One additional list, of considerable interest, appears in the preface. Here, the author has evaluated the claims of all the known and questionable students of Gabrieli, based on his comprehensive knowledge of the literature.

The book is the most complete catalogue to date of Gabrieli's works. It is as inclusive as possible at this time; and the author, in his wisdom, has left gaps in the C-number series to accommodate future discoveries. His handling of related literature appears comprehensive to an almost overwhelming extent, and the extensive cross-referenced lists make it possible to answer practically any imaginable question, beginning anywhere in the book's information tree. Although the extensive use of abbreviations impedes casual reading of the catalogue, it is inconceivable that the amount of information could have been conveyed any other way. Such abbreviation is a convention of such catalogues; in any case, Charteris uses standard RISM abbreviations for libraries and early prints, and his other abbreviations follow scholarly conventions, so the work is as approachable as possible.

... [this book represents a] great scholarly advance ...

Gary Towne

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