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Mixing with the Intellectual Elite

Donald Macleod discusses Strozzi's becoming mistress of ceremonies at meetings of the Accademia degli Unisoni, presiding over their debates and awarding prizes.

This week Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Barbara Strozzi. She was one of the most important composers of Italian cantatas in the seventeenth century and, probably, also a Venetian courtesan. Strozzi published eight collections of vocal works during her lifetime, containing over one hundred works in total, and her music travelled as far as Austria, Germany and England. Dr Sara Pecknold joins Donald Macleod to help lift the veil on this elusive composer.

By the 1630s there are accounts of Barbara Strozzi socialising with intellectuals in Venice, including members of the Accademia degli Incogniti. Her father Giulio Strozzi was part of these literary circles where Barbara first started to prove herself as a virtuoso singer, entertaining the men at these gatherings. Her voice was so admired that composers such as Nicolo Fontei wrote and dedicated music to her. By 1637 Giulio established the Accademia degli Unisoni where Barbara would showcase her musical activities further and act as the Mistress of Ceremonies, presiding over their debates, and awarding prizes.

Amore è bandito, Op 6 No 7
Glenda Simpson, mezzo soprano
Barry Mason, baroque guitar

Lamento: Su'l Rodano severo, Op 3 No 3
Judith Nelson, soprano
William Christie, harpsichord
Christophe Coin, baroque cello
John Hutchinson, harp

Nascente Maria, Op 5 No 12
Maria Cristina Kiehr, soprano
Concerto Soave

Che si può fare, Op 8 No 6
Emmanuela Galli, soprano
La Risonanza
Fabio Bonizzoni, harpsichord and director

Godere e tacere, Op 1 No 9
Mona Spägele, soprano
Nele Gramß, soprano
Orlando de Lasso Ensemble

Silentio nocivo, Op 1 No 6
Nele Gramß, soprano
Detlaf Bratchke, alto
Tobias Hiller, tenor
Adolph Seidel, bass
Orlando de Lasso Ensemble

Vecchio amante che rende la piazza, Op 1 No 20
Beat Duddeck, alto
Hans Jörg Mammel, tenor
Adolph Seidel, bass
Orlando de Lasso Ensemble

Producer Luke Whitlock.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Barbara Strozzi

    Amore e bandito

    Performer: Barry Mason. Singer: Glenda Simpson.
    • Hyperion CDA66303.
    • 8.
  • Barbara Strozzi

    Lamento: Su’l Rodano severo

    Performer: Christophe Coin. Performer: John Hutchinson. Singer: Judith Nelson. Director: William Christie.
    • Harmonia Mundi: HMX2901114.
    • Harmonia Mundi.
    • 4.
  • Barbara Strozzi

    Nascente Maria, Op 5 No 12

    Singer: María Cristina Kiehr. Ensemble: Concerto Soave.
    • Ed13048.
    • ED.
    • 7.
  • Barbara Strozzi

    Che si puo fare

    Singer: Emanuela Galli. Orchestra: La Risonanza. Director: Fabio Bonizzoni.
    • Glossa GCDC81503.
    • 7.
  • Barbara Strozzi

    Godere e tacere

    Performer: Hille Perl. Performer: Lee Santana. Singer: Mona Spägele. Singer: Nele Gramss.
    • Libro di Madrigali / Strozzi.
    • Thorofon.
    • 5.
  • Barbara Strozzi

    Silentio mociuo

    Singer: Nele Gramss. Singer: Detlef Bratschke. Singer: Tobias Hiller. Singer: Adolph Seidel. Ensemble: Orlando di Lasso Ensemble.
    • Thorofon DCTH24412.
    • 4.
  • Barbara Strozzi

    Vecchio amante che rende la piazza

    Ensemble: Orlando di Lasso Ensemble.
    • THOROFON : CTH-2441/2.
    • THOROFON.
    • 13.

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