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Off to the Nunnery

Donald Macleod on Strozzi's final years, when she worked to secure a better future for her children, having failed to find a rich patron who might have supported her and her family.

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 late 1650s, there are reports of many musical activities taking place at the home of Barbara Strozzi. She was still publishing collections of music, which she dedicated to nobles and powerful people. Strozzi was seeking a patron, which she never achieved. During her final years she was keen to secure a better future for her children, and one of them became a nun, and another a monk. Strozzi's last publication was in 1664, but we know that she didn't stop composing at this point. In 1677 she travelled to Padua where she died at the age of 58.

Parasti in dulcedine, Op 5 No 8
Maria Cristina Kiehr, soprano
Concerto Soave

Lilla crudele: Lilla mia, non ti doler, Op 6 No 9
Dorothée Leclair, soprano
Yasunori Imamura, theorbo
Lea Rachel Bader, baroque cello
Jory Vinikour, harpsichord

Lamento: Lagrime mie, a che vi trattenete?, Op 7 No 4
Susanne Rydén, soprano
Musica Fiorita

L'astratto, Op 8 No 4
Judith Nelson, soprano
William Christie, harpsichord
Christophe Coin, baroque cello
John Hutchinson, harp

Salve sancta caro, Op 5 No 4
Maria Cristina Kiehr, soprano
Concerto Soave

Donna non sa che dice, Op 3 No 7
Christine Brandes, soprano
Kurt-Owen Richards, bass
New York Baroque
Eric Milnes, director

Desideri vani, Op 3 No 11
Christine Brandes, soprano
Jennifer Lane, mezzo-soprano
Kurt-Owen Richards, bass
New York Baroque
Eric Milnes, director

Producer Luke Whitlock.

1 hour

Last on

Fri 27 Apr 2018 12:00

Music Played

  • Barbara Strozzi

    Parasti in dulcedine

    Singer: María Cristina Kiehr. Ensemble: Concerto Soave.
    • Harmonia Mundi:ED13048.
    • 10.
  • Barbara Strozzi

    Lilla crudele: Lilla mia, non ti doler

    Performer: Yasunori Imamura. Performer: Lea Rachel Bader. Performer: Jory Vinikour. Singer: Dorothee Leclair.
    • Querstand VKJK1303.
    • 10.
  • Barbara Strozzi

    Lagrime mie, a che vi trattenete

    Performer: Musica Fiorita. Singer: Susanne Rydén.
  • Barbara Strozzi

    L’astratto

    Performer: William Christie. Performer: Christophe Coin. Performer: John Hutchinson. Singer: Judith Nelson.
    • Harmonia Mundi: HMX2901114.
    • 1.
  • Barbara Strozzi

    Salve sancta caro

    Singer: María Cristina Kiehr. Orchestra: Concerto Soave.
    • Harmonia Mundi ED13048.
    • 14.
  • Barbara Strozzi

    Donna non sa che dice

    Singer: Christine Brandes. Singer: Kurt-Owen Richards. Orchestra: New York Baroque. Director: Eric Milnes.
    • Dorian DOR93218.
    • 11.
  • Barbara Strozzi

    Desideri vani

    Singer: Christine Brandes. Singer: Jennifer Lane. Singer: Kurt-Owen Richards. Orchestra: New York Baroque. Director: Eric Milnes.
    • Dorian DOR93218.
    • 8.

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