Barbara Strozzi (1619-1677)

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01In the Shadow of Monteverdi20160307

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. Documentary evidence relating to Strozzi's life is scarce, but we know she was born in Venice and was likely the illegitimate daughter of librettist and poet, Giulio Strozzi. Through him, Barbara came into contact with Monteverdi and later Cavalli who'd be her teacher. She was also introduced to the literati of Venice, whom she would sing for, and act as mistress of ceremonies for their meetings of the Accademia degli Unisoni, established by her father. 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.

Barbara Strozzi was fortunate to grow up in a household where she'd meet visitors such as Monteverdi, Cavalli, and other famous Venetian artists of the time. Her mother, Isabella Garzoni, was the long-term servant of the librettist Giulio Strozzi, and may have been a courtesan. Barbara Strozzi was possibly educated in one of Venice's famous ospedali, but she also mentioned in one of her publications that she was taught music by the composer Cavalli. Giulio Strozzi was keen for his illegitimate daughter to be educated to increase her future prospects, but this may also have involved grooming her for the life of a courtesan.

L'Eraclito amoroso, Op 2 No 14

Philippe Jaroussky, countertenor

Le Concert d'Astrée

Emmanuelle Haïm, director, harpsichord, organ

Hor che Apollo è a Teti in seno, Op 8 No 3

Susanne Rydén, soprano

Musica Fiorita

Begli occhi, Op 3 No 9

Christine Brandes, soprano

Jennifer Lane, mezzo-soprano

New York Baroque

Eric Milnes, director

Cor donato, cor rubbato, Op 3 No 10

Christine Brandes, soprano

Jennifer Lane, mezzo-soprano

Kurt-Owen Richards, bass

New York Baroque

Eric Milnes, director

Canto de bella bocca, Op 1 No 2

Emma Kirkby, soprano

Evelyn Tubb, soprano

Alan Wilson, harpsichord

Anthony Rooley, director and lute

Mater Anna, Op 5 No 1

Maria Cristina Kiehr, soprano

Concerto Soave

Producer Luke Whitlock.

01In the Shadow of Monteverdi20160307

Donald Macleod focuses on Strozzi's upbringing in 17th-century Venice.

01In the Shadow of Monteverdi20160307

01In the Shadow of Monteverdi20160307

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. Documentary evidence relating to Strozzi's life is scarce, but we know she was born in Venice and was likely the illegitimate daughter of librettist and poet, Giulio Strozzi. Through him, Barbara came into contact with Monteverdi and later Cavalli who'd be her teacher. She was also introduced to the literati of Venice, whom she would sing for, and act as mistress of ceremonies for their meetings of the Accademia degli Unisoni, established by her father. 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.

Barbara Strozzi was fortunate to grow up in a household where she'd meet visitors such as Monteverdi, Cavalli, and other famous Venetian artists of the time. Her mother, Isabella Garzoni, was the long-term servant of the librettist Giulio Strozzi, and may have been a courtesan. Barbara Strozzi was possibly educated in one of Venice's famous ospedali, but she also mentioned in one of her publications that she was taught music by the composer Cavalli. Giulio Strozzi was keen for his illegitimate daughter to be educated to increase her future prospects, but this may also have involved grooming her for the life of a courtesan.

L'Eraclito amoroso, Op 2 No 14

Philippe Jaroussky, countertenor

Le Concert d'Astrée

Emmanuelle Haïm, director, harpsichord, organ

Hor che Apollo è a Teti in seno, Op 8 No 3

Susanne Rydén, soprano

Musica Fiorita

Begli occhi, Op 3 No 9

Christine Brandes, soprano

Jennifer Lane, mezzo-soprano

New York Baroque

Eric Milnes, director

Cor donato, cor rubbato, Op 3 No 10

Christine Brandes, soprano

Jennifer Lane, mezzo-soprano

Kurt-Owen Richards, bass

New York Baroque

Eric Milnes, director

Canto de bella bocca, Op 1 No 2

Emma Kirkby, soprano

Evelyn Tubb, soprano

Alan Wilson, harpsichord

Anthony Rooley, director and lute

Mater Anna, Op 5 No 1

Maria Cristina Kiehr, soprano

Concerto Soave

Producer Luke Whitlock.

01In the Shadow of Monteverdi20160307

Donald Macleod focuses on Strozzi's upbringing in 17th-century Venice.

01In the Shadow of Monteverdi20160307

02Mixing with the Intellectual Elite20160308

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.

02Mixing with the Intellectual Elite20160308

Discussing Strozzi's becoming mistress of ceremonies at the Accademia degli Unisoni.

02Mixing with the Intellectual Elite20160308

02Mixing with the Intellectual Elite20160308

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.

02Mixing with the Intellectual Elite20160308

Discussing Strozzi's becoming mistress of ceremonies at the Accademia degli Unisoni.

02Mixing with the Intellectual Elite20160308

03An Object of Desier20160309

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.

03An Object of Desier20160309

Focusing on Strozzi's recognition as a singer as well as descriptions of her appearance.

03An Object of Desier20160309

03An Object of Desier20160309

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.

03An Object of Desier20160309

Focusing on Strozzi's recognition as a singer as well as descriptions of her appearance.

03An Object of Desier20160309

04Strozzi And Money20160310

Donald Macleod explains how Strozzi strove hard to bring her music to print.

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.

A few years after Barbara Strozzi had published her first set of madrigals, she brought out a second group of works in 1651. This Opus Two collection demonstrated Strozzi coming into her own as a composer, and shows less of the influence of her father, the librettist Giulio Strozzi. In her twenties she was also something of a financial wizard, making shrewd investments and loaning money. It was also during this period that she became a mother. Three of her four children were fathered by Giovanni Paolo Vidman, who was already married. Upon Vidman's death, financial support was given to Strozzi by Vidman's widow. Within a few years Strozzi was hard at work again, bringing further compositions into print, including her only collection of sacred works. All of her published works have significant dedications, and we see from this that Strozzi was keenly seeking patronage.

Le tre grazie, Op 1 No 4

Emma Kirkby, soprano

Evelyn Tubb, soprano

Mary Nichols, alto

Frances Kelly, harp

L'amante segreto, Op 2 No 16

Susanne Rydén, soprano

Musica Fiorita

La vendetta, Op 2 No 9

Cantata: Sino alla morte mi protesto, Op 7 No 1

Con male nuove: Questa è la nuova, Op 3 No 5

Glenda Simpson, mezzo soprano

The Camerata of London

Salve Regina, Op 5 No 11

Maria Cristina Kiehr, soprano

Concerto Soave

O Maria, Op 5 No 7

Producer Luke Whitlock.

04Strozzi And Money20160310

Donald Macleod explains how Strozzi strove hard to bring her music to print.

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.

A few years after Barbara Strozzi had published her first set of madrigals, she brought out a second group of works in 1651. This Opus Two collection demonstrated Strozzi coming into her own as a composer, and shows less of the influence of her father, the librettist Giulio Strozzi. In her twenties she was also something of a financial wizard, making shrewd investments and loaning money. It was also during this period that she became a mother. Three of her four children were fathered by Giovanni Paolo Vidman, who was already married. Upon Vidman's death, financial support was given to Strozzi by Vidman's widow. Within a few years Strozzi was hard at work again, bringing further compositions into print, including her only collection of sacred works. All of her published works have significant dedications, and we see from this that Strozzi was keenly seeking patronage.

Le tre grazie, Op 1 No 4

Emma Kirkby, soprano

Evelyn Tubb, soprano

Mary Nichols, alto

Frances Kelly, harp

L'amante segreto, Op 2 No 16

Susanne Rydén, soprano

Musica Fiorita

La vendetta, Op 2 No 9

Cantata: Sino alla morte mi protesto, Op 7 No 1

Con male nuove: Questa è la nuova, Op 3 No 5

Glenda Simpson, mezzo soprano

The Camerata of London

Salve Regina, Op 5 No 11

Maria Cristina Kiehr, soprano

Concerto Soave

O Maria, Op 5 No 7

Producer Luke Whitlock.

05Off To The Nunnery20160311

Exploring Strozzi's last years, when she worked to secure a better future for her children

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

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

Jennifer Lane, mezzo-soprano

Producer Luke Whitlock.

05Off To The Nunnery20160311

Exploring Strozzi's last years, when she worked to secure a better future for her children

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

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

Jennifer Lane, mezzo-soprano

Producer Luke Whitlock.