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An Object of Desire

Donald Macleod focuses on Strozzi's recognition as a singer as well as descriptions of her appearance.

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 time that Barbara Strozzi was nineteen, reports started to appear in print of her capabilities and virtuosity as a singer. It was also mentioned that she had an amorous gaze, with the beauty of Venus and likened to the Phoenix of the day. Not all the reports which came into print praised Barbara Strozzi, and it was suggested by some that her father Giulio was pimping out his daughter. Dr Sara Pecknold discusses a painting of Barbara Strozzi from the time, which reinforces this idea of the composer as an object of sexual desire. By 1644, Strozzi had launched her career as a composer, publishing her Opus One collection of madrigals.

Noiosa lontananza: Dimmi dove sei, Op 2 No 13
Mary Nichols, alto
Kasia Elsner, theorbo

Se volete cosi me ne content, Op 6 No 18
Dorothée Leclair, soprano
Yasunori Imamura, theorbo
Lea Rahel Bader, baroque cello
Jory Vinikour, harpsichord

Cantata: Amante ravveduto: Chiudi l'audaci labra, Op 6 No 14
Dorothée Leclair, soprano
Yasunori Imamura, theorbo
Lea Rahel Bader, baroque cello
Jory Vinikour, harpsichord

Moralita' amorosa, Op 3 No 2
Christine Brandes, soprano
New York Baroque
Eric Milnes, director

A donna bella e crudele, Op 3 No 4
Christine Brandes, soprano
New York Baroque
Eric Milnes, director

Lamento: Appresso a i molli argenti, Op 7 No 2
Judith Nelson, soprano
William Christie, harpsichord
Christophe Coin, baroque cello
John Hutchinson, harp

Dal pianto de gli amanti scherniti s'imparò à far la carta, Opus 1 No 21
Mona Spägele, soprano
Nele Gramß, soprano
Orlando de Lasso Ensemble

L'Affetto humano, Op 1 No 7
Mona Spägele, soprano
Detlaf Bratchke, alto
Hans Jörg Mammel, tenor
Adolph Seidel, bass
Orlando de Lasso Ensemble

Producer Luke Whitlock.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Barbara Strozzi

    Noiosa iontananza: dimmi dove sei

    Performer: Kasia Elsner. Singer: Mary Nichols.
    • Amon Ra CDSAR61.
    • 2.
  • Barbara Strozzi

    Se volete cosi me ne content

    Performer: Yasunori Imamura. Performer: Lea Rachel Bader. Performer: Jory Vinikour. Singer: Dorothee Leclair.
    • Querstand VKJK1303.
    • 2.
  • Barbara Strozzi

    Cantata: Amante ravveduto: Chiudi l’audaci labra

    Performer: Yasunori Imamura. Performer: Lea Rachel Bader. Performer: Jory Vinikour. Singer: Dorothee Leclair.
    • Querstand VKJK1303.
    • 7.
  • Barbara Strozzi

    Moralita’ amorosa

    Singer: Christine Brandes. Director: Eric Milnes.
    • Dorian: DOR93218.
    • Dorian.
    • 10.
  • Barbara Strozzi

    A donna bella e crudele

    Singer: Christine Brandes. Orchestra: New York Baroque. Director: Eric Milnes.
    • Dorian DOR93218.
    • 6.
  • Barbara Strozzi

    Lamento: Appresso a i molli argenti

    Performer: William Christie. Performer: Christophe Coin. Performer: John Hutchinson. Singer: Judith Nelson.
    • Harmonia Mundi HMX2901114.
    • 3.
  • Barbara Strozzi

    Dal pianto de gli Amanti scherniti s’imparo a far la carta

    Singer: Mona Spägele. Singer: Nele Gramss. Ensemble: Orlando di Lasso Ensemble.
    • Thorofon DCTH24412.
    • 5.
  • Barbara Strozzi

    L’Affetto humano

    Singer: Mona Spägele. Singer: Detlef Bratschke. Singer: Hans-Jörg Mammel. Singer: Adolph Seidel. Ensemble: Orlando di Lasso Ensemble.
    • Thorofon DCTH24412.
    • 10.

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