Italian & French Baroque women composers

Ihre Vorschau von der Schriftart Middle Saxony Text
Ihre Vorschau von der Schriftart Middle Saxony Text





  • Introduction to Baroque Women Composers


    Superior recording and an excellent introduction to the range of 17th century Baroque women composers on CD titled Donne Barocche with three works (a sonata, preludio and an allemande) by Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre (1665-1729), with individual works by Barbara Strozzi (ca. 1619-1677), Isabella Leonarda (1620-1704), Antonia Bembo (1643-1715), Rosa Giacincta Badalla (1660-1715), and Bianca Maria Meda (1665-ca.1700). Bizzarrie Armoniche, Roberta Invernizzi, soprano, OPUS 111, #30341, 2001

  • Chiara Margarita Cozzolani
  •  (1602-ca.1676-78) 


    Chiara Margarita Cozzolani was a Baroque composer, unusual in that she was a Benedictine nun, who spent her adult life cloistered in the convent of Santa Radegonda, Milan, where she became abbess and stopped composing. More than a dozen cloistered women published sacred music in seventeenth-century Italy.

    The Cozzolani were a wealthy Milanese family. She must have received extensive musical training before she entered the convent in 1619, when she was of marriagable age.

    Her four musical opere were published between 1640 and 1650, which is the date of her Vespers, perhaps her best-known single work. There is also a Paschal Mass.

    As abbess she defended the nuns' music, which came under attack from Archbishop Alfonso Litta, who wanted to reform the convent by limiting the nuns' practice of music and other contact with the outside world. The archbishop's qualms could not have been reassured by the exstatic report of Filippo Picinelli, in Ateneo dei letterati milanesi (Milan, 1670) who found that "the nuns of Santa Radegonda of Milan are gifted with such rare and exquisite talents in music that they are acknowledged to be the best singers of Italy. They wear the Cassinese habits of St. Benedict, but they seem to any listener to be white and melodious swans, who fill hearts with wonder, and spirit away tongues in their praise. Among these sisters, Donna Chiara Margarita Cozzolani merits the highest praise, Chiara in name but even more so in merit, and Margarita for her unusual and excellent nobility of invention...".

    Donna Chiara Margarita Cozzolani disappears from the con's lists after 1676. The first modern edition of her complete motets, for one to five voices and continuo, was edited by Robert L. Kendrick, 1998 ISBN 978-0-89579-402-4 .

     Source :

  •   • Vespro Della Beata Vergine: Versiculus Et Responsorium
      • Vespro Della Beata Vergine: 1. Antiphona: Missus Est
      • Vespro Della Beata Vergine: Psalm 109: Dixit Dominus
      • Vespro Della Beata Vergine: In Loco 1. Antiphona: Concinant Linguae
      • Vespro Della Beata Vergine: 2. Antiphona: Ave Maria

    Chiara Margarita Cozzolani's Messa Paschale (Mass for Easter Day) on CD titled Cozzolani: Messa Paschale, performed by Magnificat, Warren Steward, artistic director, Musica Omnia, MO0209, 2002

  • A Partial Chiara Margarita Cozzolani Discography
    AlbumTitle Subtitle Works Performers Record Label Catalog No
    Chiara Margarita Cozzolani Vespro della Beata Vergine 1. Versiculus et Responsorium: Deus in adiutorium; 2. 1. Antiphona: Missus est; 3. Psalm 109:DixitDominus; 4. in loco 1.Antiphona: Concinant Iinguae; 5. 2.Antiphona:Ave Maria; 6. Psalm 112: Laudate pueri primo; 7. in loco 2. Antiphona: O quam bonus es; 8. 3. Antiphona: Ne timeas; 9. Psalm 121:Laetatus sum; 10. in loco 3. Antiphona: Venimus in altitudinem maris; 11. 4. Antiphona: Dabit ei Dominus; 12. Psalm 126: Nisi Dominus; 13. in loco 4. Antiphona: O gloriosa domina; 14. Capitulum: Isaiah 7:14-15; 15. Responsorium breve: Angelus Domini; 16. Hymnus: Ave maris stella; 17. Antiphona ad Magnificat: Gabriel Angelus; 18. Magnificat primo; 19. in loco Antiphona ad Magnificat: Quid, miseri, quid faciamus?; 20. Collecta; 21. Benedicamus Domino; 22. in loco Deo Gratias: Surgamus omnes; 23. Versiculus et Responsorium: Fidelium anima? Magnificat dir.Warren Stewart Musica Omnia mo0103
    Chiara Margarita Cozzolani Messa Paschale 1. Introitus: Resurrexi 2. Kyrie eleison: Messa a 4 ; 3. Gloria in excelsis Deo: Messa a 4; 4. Collecta; 5. Epistola: I. Corinthios 5. 7?8.; 6. in loco Graduale & Alleluia: Ave mater dilectissima; 7. Sequentia: Victimז paschale laudes; 8. Evangelium: Marcam 16. 1?7; 9. Symbolum Nicenum: Messa a 4; 10. in loco Offertorium: Bone Iesu, fons amoris; 11. Prefatio; 12. Sanctus: Messa a 4; 13. ad Elevationem: O quam bonum, O quam iocundum; 14. Pater noster/Pax Domini; 15. Agnus Dei: Messa a 4; 16. in loco Communio: O dulcis Iesu; 17. Postcommunio; 18. Ite missa est; 19. in loco Deo gratias: Maria Magdalene stabat Magnificat dir.Warren Stewart Musica Omnia mo0209
    Vespro a voce solo 1. Domine ad adjuvandum me (Orazio Tarditi); 2. Ipse praeibit ante illum (Anon.); 3. Dixit Dominus (Adriano Banchieri); 4. Il primo libro delle canzoni: no 2, La Bernardina in C major (Girolamo Frescobaldi); 5. Joannes est nomen eius (Anon.); 6. Motetti con sinfonie, libro secondo: Confitebor tibi Domine (Alessandro Grandi); 7. Cantate Domino a 2 (Claudio Monteverdi); 8. Ex utero senectutis (Anon.); 9. Beatus vir qui timet Dominum (Orazio Tarditi);10. Sonata sopra fuggi da lieti amanti (Biagio Marini); 11. Iste puer magnus (Anon.); 12. Laudate pueri (Tarquinio Merula); 13. Sonata א 6 "La Buscha" (Giovanni Legrenzi); 14. Inter natos mulierum - O Johannes doce nos (Anon.); 15. Laudate Dominum omnes gentes (Chiara M. Cozzolani); 16. Ciaccona a 3 (Andrea Falconieri); 17. Il primo libro di capricci fatti sopra diversi soggetti et arie: no 12, Ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la (Girolamo Frescobaldi); 18. Selva morale e spirituale: Iste confessor a 2 (Claudio Monteverdi); 19. Il primo libro di capricci fatti sopra diversi soggetti et arie: no 5, La, sol, fa, mi, ut (Girolamo Frescobaldi); 20. Ingresso Zacharia (Anon.); 21. Regole, passaggi di musica, madrigali et motetti passeggiati: Magnificat anima mea (Bovicelli); 22. Benedicamus Domino (Anon.); 23. Deo gratias (Anon.) Carlos Mena (Countertenor), La Fenice dir. Jean Tubéry Astrée Naïve E8879

  • Tactus 600301
    1. Domine in adiuvandum
    2. Rex pacificus
    3. Dixit Dominus
    4. Quis audivit
    5. Magnificatus es
    6. Confitebor tibi Domine
    7. O quam bonus es
    8. Completi sunt dies Mariæ
    9. Beatus vir
    10. Scitote quia prope est
    11. Laudate pueri
    12. Gloria in altissimis Deo
    13. Christe redemptori omnium
    14. Dum ortus fuerit
    15. Magnificat

  • Cozzolani - Vespro della Beata Vergine by Magnificat, Warren Stewart, and Chiara Margarita Cozzolani (Audio CD - 2004)
  • Performer: Magnificat, Warren Stewart
  • Audio CD (5 Aug 2004)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Double CD, Box set
  • Label: Musica Omnia



  • Cozzolani - Messa Paschale by Magnificat, Warren Stewart, and Chiara Margarita Cozzolani (Audio CD - 2004)
  • Performer: Magnificat, Warren Stewart
  • Audio CD (5 Aug 2004)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Musica Omnia


  • Dialogues with Heaven - Cozzolani: Motets by Musica Secreta and Chiara Margarita Cozzolani (Audio CD - 2007)
  • Audio CD (15 Jan 2007)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Linn


  • Rosa Mistica by Caterina Assandra, Rosa Giacinta Badalla, Chiara Margarita Cozzolani, and Isabella Leonarda (Audio CD - 2000)
  • Composer: Caterina Assandra, Rosa Giacinta Badalla, Chiara Margarita Cozzolani, Isabella Leonarda, Bianca Maria Meda, et al.
  • Conductor: Candace Smith
  • Audio CD (12 Sep 2000)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Tactus


  • Angels and Shepherds by Philipp Nicolai, Michael Praetorius, Anonymous, and Samuel Scheidt (Audio CD - 1999)
  • Composer: Philipp Nicolai, Michael Praetorius, Anonymous, Samuel Scheidt, Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, et al.
  • Conductor: Jos Van Veldhoven
  • Orchestra: Figuralis Choir and Capella
  • Audio CD (1 Dec 1999)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Channel Classics


  • Soror Mea, Sponsa Mea by Chiara Margarita Cozzolani (Audio CD - 2005)
  • Audio CD (11 April 2005)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Tactus



      Cozzolani - Marian Vespers by A AaaUnspecified and Chiara Margarita Cozzolani
    • Performer: A AaaUnspecified
    • Audio CD (26 Jul 2002)
    • Number of Discs: 2
    • Label: Thorofon
    • Vespro della Beata Vergine  

    • Barbara Strozzi (ca. 1619 -1677)


      The Viola da Gamba Player (»Gambenspielerin«), c. 1630-1640, (Gemäldegalerie, Dresden) by Bernardo Strozzi, believed to be of Barbara Strozzi.

    • Barbara Strozzi is one of the better known female composers of the Baroque era, probably because she had a such a large musical output, most of which has survived to the present day. 

      In a time when many composers still didn't even publish their works, she published over 100 during her own lifetime, making her the most well-published composer of secular chamber music in the 17th century.

      She was a professional composer, and her music is of the highest quality. That she was able to overcome the obstacles faced by a woman seeking any type of career in the 17th century speaks of both her drive and abilities.

      Though neglected for centuries, fortunately it seems today that there is an increasing interest and effort among musicologists and performers to revive Strozzi's music.

      This document fulfilled one of the requirements for my masters degree in Music History and Literature. In it I combined two of my musical interests, early music and music of female composers.



    • Barbara Strozzi (also called Barbara Valle) (Baptised August 6, 1619, Venice - November 11, 1677, Padua) was an Italian Baroque singer and composer. She was the adopted, and most likely illegitimate, daughter of Giulio Strozzi. Giulio incorporated her into his series of discussion groups, or academies, particularly the "Accademia degli Unisoni", where in she was both called upon to sing, and to contribute to the discourse. Her father arranged for her to study with composer Francesco Cavalli.

      Until recently, it was believed that Strozzi was a courtesan, since she was unmarried and since her relationship to her father's friends in the Accademia degli Unisoni was referred to as licentious. However, evidence that at least three of her four children were fathered by the same man (Giovanni Paulo Vidman) indicates that she was probably his paramour, or mistress, at least while he was alive. After his death it is likely that Strozzi supported herself by means of her savvy investments and by her compositions. Although she dedicated her publications to several important figures, including Ferdinand II of Austria and Sophia, Duchess of Brunswick and Lüneburg, there is no evidence that these "patrons" directly supported her.

      Strozzi is unique among both male and female composers for publishing her works in single-composer volumes, rather than in collections. Her output is also unique in that it is comprised entirely of vocal chamber music, rather than opera or instrumental music. She published, if not composed, more in this genre than any other composer of her time. In addition to composing, Strozzi was considered to be a virtuosic singer.

      The vast majority of her works are for Soprano and continuo, suggesting that they were written for Strozzi herself to sing. Her compositions are firmly rooted in the seconda prattica tradition, exemplified in the works of Claudio Monteverdi, but her works have a more lyrical emphasis, based in the strengths of the voice itself. Many of the texts for her early pieces were written by her father Giulio. Other texts were written by her father's friends, and possibly by herself.

    • Source:


    • Barbara Strozzi, CANTATES, Judith Nelson, Soprano. Fine recording, exceedingly delighful clarity of soprano Judith Nelson, with William Christie, harpsichord, Christophe Coin, violoncelle, John Hutchinson, harp. Harmonia Mundi HMX 2901114, 2004

        "Barbara Strozzi was a singer and the author of eight volumes of vocal music published in venice between 1644 and 1664. The content of all but one of her extant publications are secualr: madrigals, arias , and cantatas."

      CD titled, The New Sappho, with vocal works by Barbara Strozzi and Nicolo Fontei. performed by the ensemble Favella Lyrica, Carol Lewis, Pamela Murray, et al. Koch Int'l Classics #7491, 2000

        • Sonetto proemio dell'opera by Barbara Strozzi
        • La riamata da chi amava by Barbara Strozzi
        • Gl'occhi superbi by Barbara Strozzi
        • I baci by Barbara Strozzi

      Barbara Strozzi, Sacri Musicali Affetti, libro I, op. 5 (Venice 1655) - extraits, Concerto Soave, Maria Cristina Kiehr, soprano, Christina Pluhar, arpa tripla, tiorba, Sylvie Moquet, viola da gamba, violoncino, Matthias Spaeter, arciliuto, chitarrone, Jean-Marc Aymes, organo, clavicembalo. Harmonia Mundi l'empreinte digitale ED 13048, released 1995, notes in English, French, Spanish and Italian. (Note: The cover illustration for this CD is from a painting by the Italian woman artist Artemisia Gentileschi,1593-1656. The album received the Penguin Guide's coveted "rosette" award).

      Barbara Strozzi. 17 songs on CD titled, To the Unknown Goddess: A Portrait of Barbara Strozzi, Catherine Bott, soprano; Paula Chateauneuf, chitarrone, baroque guitar; Timothy Roberts, harpsichord; Frances Kelly, harp. CARLTON CLASSICS, 30366 00412, 1996.

        • Ardo In Tacito Foco by Barbara Strozzi
        • Tradimento by Barbara Strozzi
        • Pensaci Ben Mio Core by Barbara Strozzi
        • Gite O Giorni Dolenti by Barbara Strozzi
        • Lagrime Mie... by Barbara Strozzi


      Barbara Strozzi (1619-1677) Barbara Strozzi (1619-1677)

      Ensemble Poןיsis

      Aeon AECD 0643
      2006 - 71:16 min.
      Barbara Strozzi (1619-1677)
      Primo libro de'madrigali (1644) Primo libro de'madrigali (1644)

      Primo libro de'madrigali (1644) 
      La Venexiana

      Rossana Bertini, Claudio Cavina

      Cantus 9612
      1997 - 62:00 min.
      Cantates Cantates

      Ensemble Musica Fiorita

      Suzanne Rydיn

      Harmonia Mundi HMC 905249
      1998 - 72:16 min.

      Battaglie & Lamenti Battaglie & Lamenti 

      Jordi Savall

      Hespטrion XXI

      Montserrat Figueras

      Alia Vox AV9815
      1981 - 70:50 min.

      Battaglie & Lamenti
      Musica al tempo di Luca Giordano Musica al tempo di Luca Giordano


      Enrico Baiano

      Symphonia SY 01184
      2001 - 62:08 min.

      Musica al tempo di Luca Giordano
      Donne barocche Donne barocche 

      Bizzarrie Armoniche

      Roberta Invernizzi

      Opus 111 OP 30341
      2001 - 68:45 min.

      Donne barocche
      Opera ottava Opera ottava
      Fabio Bonizzoni

      La Risonanza

      Emanuela Galli

      Glossa GCD 921503
      2000 - 72:05 min

      Opera ottava
      Arias 6 duets Arias 6 duets

      Eric Milnes

      Ensemble New York Baroque

      Christine Brandes, Jennifer Lane

      Dorian DOR 93218
      1997 - 68:36 min.

      Arias 6 duets

       My Collection

      STROZZI   barb.   Choir Lamento del marchese cinq-mars Sergio Vartolo Soloists, capella di st. Petronio        < xml="true" ns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" prefix="o" namespace="">

      Strozzi barb. Choir        Merce di voi Sergio Vartolo Soloists , capella di st. Petronio      

      Strozzi barb. Soprano   Cantata l'Astratto Judith Nelson Christie-cembalo Cristophe Coin-cello, Hutchinso-triple Harp       

      Strozzi barb. Soprano   Cantata Non pavento io di te Judith Nelson  Christie-cembalo Cristophe Coin-cello, Hutchinso-triple Harp          

      Strozzi barb. Soprano   Cantata  Lamento:Appresso a I molli argenti Judith Nelson   Christie-cembalo Cristophe Coin-cello, Hutchinso-triple Harp          

      Strozzi barb. Soprano   Cantata Lamento: Au'l Rodano severo  Judith Nelson Christie-cembalo Cristophe Coin-cello, Hutchinso-triple Harp   

      Strozzi barb. Soprano   Cantata Luci belle  Judith Nelson Christie-cembalo Cristophe Coin-cello, Hutchinso-triple Harp       

      Strozzi barb. Soprano   Cantata Moralita amorosa Judith Nelson Christie-cembalo Cristophe Coin-cello, Hutchinso-triple Harp          

      Strozzi barb. Soprano   L'Eracito amoroso "Udite amarti" Susanne Ryden Musica Fiorita       

      Strozzi barb. Soprano   Costume de' grand "Godere e lasciare" Susanne Ryden Musica Fiorita           

      Strozzi barb. Soprano   L'amante segreto "Voglio, voglio morire" Susanne Ryden Musica Fiorita           

      Strozzi barb. Soprano   Amor dormiglione "Amor, non dormir piu" Susanne Ryden Musica Fiorita           

      Strozzi barb. Soprano   Lamento "Lagrime mie, a che vi trattenete?" Susanne Ryden Musica Fiorita           

      Strozzi barb. Soprano   Serenata con violini "Hor che Apollo e a Teti in seno" Susanne Ryden Musica Fiorita         

      Strozzi barb. Soprano   Begl'occhi, bel seno "Voi pur , begl'occhi" Susanne Ryden  Musica Fiorita           

      Strozzi barb. Soprano   Cantata "Sino alla morte mi protesto" Susanne Ryden Musica Fiorita           

      Strozzi barb. Soprano   La soi ta mi re do "La mia donna, perche canta" Susanne Ryden Musica Fiorita         

      Strozzi barb. Soprano   Core che reprime alla lingua di manifestare il nome della sua cara. Susanne Ryden                    Musica Fiorita         

      Strozzi barb.        Soprano      La vendetta Susanne Ryden Musica Fiorita


    • Isabella Leonarda (1620-1704)


      • Born 1620 in Novara
      • Died 1700 in Novara
      • Period: Baroque (1600-1749)
      • Country: Italy



      Isabella Leonarda, the name chosen by or perhaps for Isabella Calegari, when she became an Ursaline nun, is a remarkable figure in the history of Western music. It was not at all unheard of for women to compose music in times gone by, but in virtually all such instances, the music written is vocal: sacred motets -- such as we might expect nuns (for most woman composers in earlier times were nuns) to produce -- and/or secular madrigals. It is indeed unusual to find a seventeenth-century Italian woman like Leonarda putting together textless instrumental music in the new Italian Baroque fashion.

      Calegari, the daughter of a seventeenth century Italian aristocrat, was born in the city of Novara in 1620. As was still common in her day, most of the sons and daughters of the family were sent into church service, leaving only the eldest son to look after family matters. At age 16, then, Isabella entered the convent of Santa Orsala (Ursala), henceforth to be known as Leonarda. It is possible, though not proven, that Gasparo Casati, master of music at the Novara Cathedral, was her teacher in music. At any rate, in 1620, Casati organized the first publication of music written by her, in a volume otherwise devoted to his own music. She composed throughout her life and from the 1670s on, her music was regularly published, to a total of 20 volumes. She was, in addition, a very successful nun, eventually rising to the rank of Mother Superior for her convent and then becoming a Regional Counselor for the Ursalines. She died a few years into the new century, mostly likely in 1704.

      Sacred Latin motets form the backbone of Leonarda's life's work, but many of the other usual suspects -- psalms, masses, magnificats -- also appear in her catalog. Some of these works contain instrumental parts, supporting the vocal lines and at times shooting off on their own. And then there are the strictly instrumental works: 11 sonatas da chiesa for two violins (or other treble instruments) and continuo and one solo sonata for violin and continuo, published together in 1693 as Op. 16. ~ Blair Johnston, All Music Guide

      Isabella Leonarda.
      Baroque for the Mass: Ursuline Composers of the 17th Century. Choral works by Isabella Leonarda (1620-1704): Ave suavis dilectio; Messa Prima, Op. 18; and Maria Xaveria Peruchona (ca. 1652-1709): Regine Caeli; Solvite, Solvite. Leonarda Productions LE 346, 1998 (Leonarda's mass recorded on LP in 1982). See more at Leonarda Publications.


      CD titled, Leonarda La Musa Novarese, Gruppo Vocale Musica Laudantes, directed by Riccardo Doni; Cappella Strumentali Del Duomo Di Novara. Soloists: Loredana Bacchettal, soprano; Caterina Calvi, contralto; Gianluca Ferrarini, tenor; Luca Ferracin, bass. OPS 30-206, recorded 1997. (Includes notes and slipcase, highly recommended).

      Isabella Leonarda, her acclaimed Sonata Duodecima, on CD titled In Stil Moderno, with compostions by Girolamo Frescobaldi, Giulio Caccini, and others. Ingrid Matthews, Wild Boar Records #9512, 1996.

    • Music by Lombard Nun Composers, 17th c.

      Music of the Lombard Nuns. CD titled Rosa Mistica: musiche di monache lombarde del Seicento (Music of the Lombard Nuns of the 17th century). Works by Isabella Leonarda, Maria Xaveria Peruchona, Caterina Assandra, Chiara Margarita Cozzolani, Rosa Giacinta Badalla, Biana Maria Meda, Claudia Sessa and Claudia Francesca Rusca. Cappella Artemisia TACTUS TC 600003 (Allegro Imports) 1999.


        • O superbi mundi... by Maria Xaveria Perucona
        • Duo Seraphim by Caterina Assandra
        • Ave Regina Coelorum by Isabella Leonarda
        • Ardete, motet by Bianca Maria Meda
        • Laeatus Sum by Chiara Margarita Cozzolani

    • Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz (1648/51-1695)

      Song texts of 16 villancicos by Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz on CD titled Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz : le Phenix du Mexique (the Phoenix of Mexico). Ensemble Elyma - Cor Vivaldi Els Petits Cantos de Catalunya. Les Chemins de Baroque K17, #K617122, 1999/2001

        "'Mexico enjoys within a single person all that the Graces divided among so many different learned women in past centuries, to the astonishment of historians... No other pen could rise to the heights where hers attains such distinction.'

        "This splendid tribute is addressed to Juana Ines de la Cruz, an exceptional figure in seventeenth century Mexico, when she was indisputably the leading light of the literary world.

        "(...) By no means a negligible part of her Obras, the villancicos of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz were printed in Madrid (1689) and Seville (1692), which allowed them to travel all over the Spanish colonial empire and thus to come to the attention of the talented musicians of the Real Audiencia de Charcas (in present day Bolivia) where they were to take on the dimensions revealed (thanks to the research of the musicologist Bernardo Illari) by the present recording."

      "Tocotin" (Hymn to the Virgin). Ars Femina Ensemble. CD titled "MUSICA DE LA PUEBLA DE LOS ANGELES: Music by Women of the Mexican, Cuban, and European Baroque." Music by Teodora Gines, Maria Paterina, Gracia Baptista, Sor Juana Ines De la Cruz, Anna Ovena Hoijer, Lucrezia Vizana, Chiara Margarita Cozzolani, Maria Joachina Rodrigues, Maria Xavera Peruchona, and Guadalupe Ortiz. Order from ARS FEMINA. NANNERL 004, 1996.

        This CD features Sor Juana's Tocitin, which, according to the notes, "is a hymn blending the Catholic tradition of the Virgin Mary with the Aztec Earth Mother. For this recording, the Nahautl text is aligned with its designated folk tune "El Cardador de Lana." The voice is accompanied by Aztec instruments; teponaztli (slit drum), omichicahuaztli (scraped, serrated bone), flautin indio (indiginous flute), and a Tarhumara violin."

    • Women's Mexican and European Baroque Music

      CD titled Musica de la Puebla de los Angeles: Music by Women of the Mexican, Cuban, and European Baroque, performed by the ensemble Ars Femina. Music by Teodora Gines, Maria Paterina, Gracia Baptista, Sor Juana Ines De la Cruz, Anna Ovena Hoijer, Lucrezia Vizana, Chiara Margarita Cozzolani, Maria Joachina Rodrigues, Maria Xavera Peruchona, and Guadalupe Ortiz. Ars Femina, NANNERL 004, 1996.

    • Recordings

    • Source:

      Isabella Leonarda: Sonate a 1, 2, 3 e 4 istromenti Opera Decima Sesta

      Isabella Leonarda: Sonate a 1, 2, 3 e 4 istromenti Opera Decima Sesta by Isabella Leonarda and Capella Strumentale del Duomo di Novara

    • Audio CD (October 5, 2004)
    • SPARS Code: DDD
    • Number of Discs: 1
    • Label: Tactus Records
    • Isabella Leonarda: Vespro a cappella della Beata Vergine

      Isabella Leonarda: Vespro a cappella della Beata Vergine by Giovanni Paolo Cima, Girolamo Frescobaldi, Isabella Leonarda, Nova ARS Cantandi Collegium Instrumentale, and Alberto Sala

    • Performer: Nova ARS Cantandi Collegium Instrumentale, Alberto Sala
    • Audio CD (January 9, 2007)
    • SPARS Code: DDD
    • Number of Discs: 1

      Label: Tactus Records

    • 3. 
      Rosa Mistica
      Rosa Mistica by Isabella Leonarda, Bianca Maria Meda, Chiara Margarita Cozzolani, and Rosa Giacinta Badalla (Audio CD - 2000)
      Courtesan & Nun - Strozzi, Leonarda: Vocal and Instrumental Works / Sephira Ensemble
      Courtesan & Nun - Strozzi, Leonarda: Vocal and Instrumental Works / Sephira Ensemble by Barbara Strozzi, Isabella Leonarda, Sephia Ensemble, Rosina Sonnenschmidt, and Sephira Ensemble Stuttgart (Audio CD - 1995)
      Baroque for the Mass: Ursuline Composers of the 17th Century
      Baroque for the Mass: Ursuline Composers of the 17th Century by Marquetta McChristian, Roya Bauman, Sam Pitts, Stephen Gates, and Isabella Leonarda (Audio CD - 2000)
      Musica Femina: Celebrates Women Composers
      Musica Femina: Celebrates Women Composers by English Anonymous, Kristan Aspen, Francesca Caccini, Theresa Clark, and Elizabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre (Audio Cassette - 1997)
      Abundance by Anonymous, Anthonello da Caserta, Guillaume Faugues, Francesco Gasparini, and George Gershwin (Audio CD - 1998) - Import
      Musica Femina: Celebrates Women Composers
      Musica Femina: Celebrates Women Composers by English Anonymous, Kristan Aspen, Francesca Caccini, Theresa Clark, and Elizabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre (Audio CD - 1997)
      In Stil Moderno: The Fantastic Style in Seventeenth-Century Italy
      In Stil Moderno: The Fantastic Style in Seventeenth-Century Italy by Giulio Caccini, Dario Castello, Giovanni Battista Fontana, Girolamo Frescobaldi, and Isabella Leonarda (Audio CD - 1996)
      O Dulcis Amor
      O Dulcis Amor by Vittoria (Raphaella) Aleotti, Caterina Assandra, Francesca Caccini, Isabella Leonarda, and Barbara Strozzi (Audio CD)
      Rosa Mistica
      Rosa Mistica by Caterina Assandra, Rosa Giacinta Badalla, Chiara Margarita Cozzolani, Isabella Leonarda, and Bianca Maria Meda (Audio CD)
      Soror mea, Sponsa mea: Canticum Canticorum nei Conventi
      Soror mea, Sponsa mea: Canticum Canticorum nei Conventi by Vittoria (Raphaella) Aleotti, Adriano Banchieri, Gregorian Chant, Clemens non Papa (Jacob Clement), and Chiara Margarita Cozzolani (Audio CD - 2005)

      Illumination by Jessica Bachicha (Audio CD - 2005)
      Tesori Del Piemonte, Vol. 5 - Leonarda, La Musa Novarese: Magnificat, Motets, Beatus Vir / Monticelli, Musica Laudantes
      Tesori Del Piemonte, Vol. 5 - Leonarda, La Musa Novarese: Magnificat, Motets, Beatus Vir / Monticelli, Musica Laudantes by Luca Ferracin, Isabella Leonarda, Capella Strumentale del Duomo di Novara, Loredana Bacchetta, and Gianluca Ferrarini (Audio CD - 1998) - Import
      Donne Barocche: Women Composers from the Baroque Period
      Donne Barocche: Women Composers from the Baroque Period by Rosa Giacinta Badalla, Antonia Bembo, Elizabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre, Isabella Leonarda, and Bianca Maria Meda (Audio CD - 2002)

      Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre (1664?-1729)


      Élisabeth Jacquet de La Guerrepainted by François de Troy



      Élisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre (full name Élisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre; born Élisabeth Jacquet, March 17, 1665, ParisJune 27, 1729, Paris) was a French musician, harpsichordist and composer.

       Elisabeth Jacquet was born into an important family of musicians and masons in the parish of Saint-Louis-en-l'Ile, Paris. A childhood prodigy, she played the harpsichord, recorder, and various small viols[1] before King Louis XIV to inaugurate her career as a virtuoso performer at the age of five. At the court of Louis XIV she was noticed by Madame de Montespan, and was kept on in her entourage. Her original marriage to the court clerk Anton La Rue ended in failure. During this time, he restrained her compositional output and restricted her activities.[2] She later married the organist Marin de La Guerre in 1684 and left the court. Thereafter she was known as Elisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre. After her marriage she taught and gave concerts at home and throughout Paris, and gained much acclaim. A quote from Titon du Tillet speaks of her

      "marvellous facility for playing preludes and fantasies off the cuff. Sometimes she improvises one or another for a whole half hour with tunes and harmonies of great variety and in quite the best possible taste, quite charming her listeners." (Le Parnasse Français, 1732)

      Elisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre was one of the few well-known women composers of her time. Recently there has been a renewal of interest in her compositions and a number have been recorded.

      Her first publication was her Premier Livre de Pièces de Clavessin, printed in 1687. It was one of the few collections of harpsichord pieces printed in France in the 17th-century, along with those of Chambonnières, Lebègue and d'Anglebert. On 15th March 1694, the production of her opera Céphale et Procris at the Académie Royale de Musique was the first written by a woman in France. The next year, 1695, she composed a set of trio sonatas which, with those of Marc-Antoine Charpentier, François Couperin, Jean-Féry Rebel and Sébastien de Brossard, are among the earlist French examples of the sonata.

      The next few years heralded the deaths of almost all of her near relations: her only son, mother, father, husband and brother Nicolas, and were understandably not productive of music. 1707 saw the publication of Pièces de Clavecin qui peuvent se jouer sur le Viollon, a new set of harpsichord pieces, followed by six Sonates pour le Viollon et pour le Clavecin. These works are an early example of the new genre of accompanied harpsichord works, where the instrument is used in an obbligato role with the violin; Rameau's Pieces de Clavecin en Concerts are somewhat of the same type. The dedication of the 1707 work speaks of the continuing admiration and patronage of Louis XIV:

      "Such happiness for me, Sire, if my latest work may receive as glorious a reception from Your Majesty as I have enjoyed almost from the cradle, for, Sire, if I may remind you, you never spurned my youthful offerings. You took pleasure in seeing the birth of the talent that I have devoted to you; and you honoured me even then with your commendations, the value of which I had no understanding at the time. My slender talents have since grown. I have striven even harder, Sire, to deserve your approbation, which has always meant everything to me...."

      She returned to vocal composition with the publication of two books of Cantates françoises sur des sujets tirez de l'Ecriture in 1708 and 1711. Her last publication, 15 years before her death, was a collection of secular Cantates Françoises (c. 1715).

      In the inventory of her possessions after her death, there were three harpsichords: a small instrument with white and black keys, one with black keys, and a large double manual Flemish harpsichord



    • Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre, Sonate, on CD titled L'Art de L'Archet, vol 2. A very fine album which rightly combines Jacquet de la Guerre with Marin Marais. Jaap Schroeder, violon; Philippe Foulon, Viole da gamba; Ketil Haugsand, harpsichord. ADDA, 1990 / 1998.

        For an excellent album of compositions for two viols performed by two women gamba players (Susie Napper and Margaret Little, Les Voix Humaines) see CD titled "Violes Esgales," music by Marais, St. Columbe and Couperin, (unfortunately no works by Jacquet de la Guerre) CBC Records, MVCD 1082, 1995.

    • Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre

      One of the best compilations of Jacquet de la Guerre ever! The recording is titled: THY HAND HAST DONE THIS "Judith" and Other Works of Jacquet de la Guerre. includes 2 cantates and Sonata in D minor for Violin, 1707; also a Cantate Le Lis et La Rose by Andre Campa (1660-1744). Centaur CRC 2670, 2004

      A snip from an introduction to CECILIA'S CIRCLE at Midwestern Historical Keyboard site:

      "Cecilia's Circle draws together four young women skilled in the traditions of the Baroque, nourished by their passion for works by women composers of that era. Beginning first as a duo, soprano Janet Youngdahl and harpsichordist Vivian Montgomery were energized by their discoveries of manuscripts by women composers. Over the course of many late nights, the dusty manuscripts became living music, and the fresh and lively sounds of this group took form..."

      Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de La Guerre, Le Sommeil d'Ulisse - Isabelle Desrochers / Les Voix Humaines (same name but different group than above), ABM 100, 2003. This very well-received, award-winning album includes 5 marvelous compositions by Jacquet de la Guerre: Prelude pour clavecin en la mineur (1687); Le sommeil d'Ulisse (ca. 1715); Chaconne pur clavecin en la mineur (1687); Sonate pour violon & basse continue en re mineur (1707); and Sanson (1711). The following is excerpted from the liner notes, regarding the recording's centerpiece, a French cantata titled Le Sommeil d'Ulisse:

      [Jacquet de la Guerre's] third book of Cantate françoises comprises three pieces, instead of the usual six: Semele, Lille de Delos and Le Sommeil d'Ulisse. The composer gave the following explanation: "As the cantatas I present to the Public are rather long, I have decicded to limit them to three. I have accompanied them with symphonies which are in keeping with the subjects; and I hope by their diversity to keep them from being tedious."

      Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre's secular cantatas are indeed unusually long, but their form and the prominent part played by the instruments also set them apart. Moreover, they have a distinctly theatrical dimension. In Le Sommeil d'Ulisse she provides beautiful examples of the slumber scene (sommeil) and the storm scene (tempète) -- both of which were common in French stage works of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. She had already included such scenes in her biblical pieces, Jonas and Judith, but they did not have the same impact or compositional perfection as those in Le Sommeil d'Ulisse.

      Elisabeth Claude-Jacquet de la Guerre: Harpsichord Suites, performed by Carole Cerasi on the 1636 harpsichord in the Cobbe Collection at the National Trust property Hatchlands Park, England. Winner of the 1999 Gramaphone Best Baroque Instrumental Recording. Metronome MET CD 1026, 1998/2001. See sound samples:

        • Suite In D Minor - Premier Livre de Pieces de Clavessin: Prelude
        • Suite In D Minor - Premier Livre de Pieces de Clavessin: Allemande
        • Suite In D Minor - Premier Livre de Pieces de Clavessin: Courante I, II
        • Suite In D Minor - Premier Livre de Pieces de Clavessin: Sarabande
        • Suite In D Minor - Premier Livre de Pieces de Clavessin: Gigue

      Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre, Les Pieces de Clavecin, Blandine Verlet, performed on the harpsichord, dated 1624, from the Unterlinden Museum in Colmar. Auvidis, E 8644, 1998

      Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre (updated), Sonates pour le Viollon, 1707. Ingrid Matthews, baroque violin; Byron Schenkman, harpsichord; Margriet Tindemans, viola da gamba. (Six Suites employing obligato bass, rendering in effect Sonates en trio, a form which had not yet found expression in France.) Wildboar 9601, 1996.


      Elisabeth-Jacquet de la Guerre, Sonates for one and two violins, with viole or violoncelle obliges. Ensemble Variations. Christine Plubeau, Viole de gambe. French import. Accord. 205, 782 / MU750

      Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre: CD titled "Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre, Portrait," Susanne Ryden, soprano; Musica Fiorita. Daniela Dolci, harpsichord and direction. Two CD-set. Good selection of vocal and instrumental works by Jacquet de la Guerre, period instruments. PAN CLASSICS 510 121-2, 1999/2000.

      Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre, CD titled Concert Spirituel includes two of her biblical cantatas, Judith (1708) and Samson (1711), with Sonatta à trois parties (c. 1695). With music by Marais, Couperin and Drouart de Bousset. Performed by the Jerusalem Consort, ACROBOLENO, AAOC-94332, 1999.


    • Sonates א un & deux violons avec viole ou violoncelle obligיs Sonates א un & deux violons avec viole ou violoncelle obligיs

      Sonates א un & deux violons avec viole ou violoncelle obligיs
      Le sommeil d' Ulisse Le sommeil d' Ulisse

      Le sommeil d' Ulisse
      Portrait Portrait

      Sonatas Sonatas

      Donne barocche Donne barocche

      Donne barocche
      Piטces de clavecin Piטces de clavecin

      Piטces de clavecin
      The flowering of genius The flowering of genius

      The flowering of genius
      Missa Puer Natus Est Missa Puer Natus Est

      Missa Puer Natus Est
      Espaסa del Cid Espaסa del Cid

      Espaסa del Cid
      Philip and Mary. Philip and Mary.

      Philip and Mary.



      Sevilla circa 1560 Sevilla circa 1560

      Sevilla circa 1560
      Canticum canticorum Canticum canticorum

      Canticum canticorum
      Spain & the New World Spain & the New World

      Spain & the New World
      Millennium Millennium

      Missa Surge Propera Missa Surge Propera

      Missa Surge Propera
      Music for the Duke of Lerma Music for the Duke of Lerma

      Music for the Duke of Lerma
      Missa Sancta et Immaculata Missa Sancta et Immaculata
      Missa Sancta et Immaculata
      Requiem Requiem

      Vespers for all saints. Missa pro defunctis Vespers for all saints. Missa pro defunctis

      Vespers for all saints. Missa pro defunctis
      Assumption Mass Assumption Mass

      Assumption Mass

      Sacrae cantiones Sacrae cantiones

      Sacrae cantiones
      Los ministriles Los ministriles

      Los ministriles
      Sacred music Sacred music

      Sacred music
      Cuerdas, aunque disםmiles, aunadas Cuerdas, aunque disםmiles, aunadas

      Cuerdas, aunque disםmiles, aunadas
      Treasures of the Spanish Renaissance Treasures of the Spanish Renaissance

      Treasures of the Spanish Renaissance 
      Music for Philip of Spain Music for Philip of Spain 

      Spanish battle music Spanish battle music

      Spanish battle music
      Ave Marםa Ave Marםa

      Ave Marםa
      Missa de la Batalla Escoutez Missa de la Batalla Escoutez

      Missa de la Batalla Escoutez
      Motecta Motecta



      From my Collection

      De < xml="true" ns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" prefix="st1" namespace="">La Guerre Soprano,Violin,traverse,theorbo/guit baroque,cemb. Vdgb Le  Sommeil d'Ulisse Desrochers Pierot,Nicolet,Wolf, Eichelberger, Payeux,Christine Payeux Les  Voix  Humaines        

      De La Guerre Cembalo Chaconne in la minor            Eichelberger Christine Payeux    Les  Voix  Humaines     

      De La Guerre Violin,traverse,theorbo/guitare baroque,cemb. Vdgb Sonata in re minor  Pierot,Nicolet,Wolf, Eichelberger, Payeux,Christine Payeux Les  Voix  Humaines      

      De La Guerre Soprano,Violin,traverse,theorbo/guitare baroque,cemb.vdgb, Samson Desrochers Pierot,Nicolet,Wolf, Eichelberger, Payeux,Christine Payeux Les  Voix  Humaines      




      Romana Camilla de Rossi (fl. early 1700's)

    • Camilla de Rossi (fl. 17071710) was an Italian composer. Several women are known to have composed music in northern Italy and Austria during the period 1670-1725. Of those women, though there is no remaining biographical information, Camilla de Rossi by far has the most surviving works. The only known biographical detail about Camilla is her Roman citizenship. She always signed the title pages of her manuscripts as Romana, or a woman of Roman descent. Rossi composed four oratorios for solo voices and orchestra, all of which were commissioned by Emperor Joseph I of Austria and were performed in the Imperial Chapel.

      All of Rossi’s surviving works demonstrate an intimate knowledge of stringed instruments and, as Barbara Garvey Jackson describes, "a keen interest in tone color". Her pieces call for a combination of ensembles with chalumeau, archlute, and strings. While her four movement sinfonia, "Il Sacrifizio di Abramo," reveals her knowledge of instruments, strings in particular, but also demands a chalumeau, an instrument first heard in 1707, one year before her sinfonia was performed for the first time in 1708. Where she learned these skills as a musician and as a composer are entirely unknown as of today. Especially given the fact that she was a woman from Rome, she would not have hade access to the musical gatherings fostered by the pope and his cardinals. Although we may not know very much about Camilla de Rossi and her music, after listening to her compositions one thing is for sure: Camilla de Rossi was one talented composer.


      • Oratorios, for solo vv, orch (MSS incl. some libs and orch pts in A-Wm; arias ed. B.G. Jackson in Arias from Oratorios by Women Composers of the Eighteenth Century, Fayetteville, AR, 1987–95):
      • Santa Beatrice d’Este (B. Pamphili), 1707, ed. B.G. Jackson (Fayetteville, 1986); Il sacrifizio di Abramo (F. Dario), 1708, ed. B.G. Jackson (Fayetteville, 1984);
      • Il figliuol prodigo (C. de Rossi),1709;
      • Sant’Alessio, 1710 Frà Dori, e Fileno (cant.), S, A, str orch, D-Dl, ed. B.G. Jackson (Fayetteville, 1983)



      Romana Camilla de Rossi, Sacrifizio di Abramo" (1708) (complete oratorio). Weser-Renaissance, directed by Manfred Cordes, with Susanne Rydén, soprano; Ralf Popken, alto and Jan Strömberg, tenor. Libretto (by Francesco Maria Dario) in Italian and English, excellent liner notes in German, English and French. The famous and beautiful lute sinfonia in this oratoria amounts to an early lute concerto. Classic Produktion Osnabrück, CPO 999 371-2. 1996. (This recording is one of the most beautiful and remarkable CD's by an early woman composer -- also available from Tower Records mail order 1-800-ASK-TOWER).

      Romana Camilla de Rossi (listed as Camillo de Rossi in one entry at Amazon, but otherwise correctly as Camilla): her Oratorio, "S. Alessio", composed in 1710, probably in Rome. The second of Camille de Rossi's four extant oratorios to be recorded. Performed by Ensemble Musica Fiorita, Daniela Dolci, harpsichord and direction, world premiere recording, Pan Classics 510 136, 2001





      Composition Féminine - Music composed for Classical Guitar – from Baroque to Modern.
      Germaine Tailleferre (1892-1983) Concerto for Two Guitars and Orchestra (c. 1961)
      Maria Luisa Anido (1907 -1996) Prelude pampeano [3:46]; Melodia de Argentina [1:58]; Aire de vidalita [2:57]
      Emilia Giuliani-GuglieLmi (1813 –c.1840) Variations on a Theme of Mercadante Op.9 [5:22]
      Ida Presti (1924-1967) Danse Rhythmique (1959) [4.25]
      Elisabeth R. Austin (b. 1938 ) Falcon Fantasy for guitar and orchestra [5.50]
      Camilla de Rossi (? – c. 1710) Sinfonia for Guitar – from the Oratorio
      The Sacrifice of Abraham [7:20]
      Chris Bilobram, guitar
      Christina Schumann, second guitar (Tailleferre).
      Reinhard Wolschina, piano
      The Orchestra of the Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt
      rec. Hochschule für Musik Franz
      Liszt, 27–29 Sept, 13-18 Oct 2004.
      QUERSTAND VKJK 0422 [47.20]


      CPO 999 603-2 [66.12]
      Camilla de Rossi (fl 1707)
      Il Sacrifizio di Abramo - The Sacrifice of Abraham. (1708)
      Weser-Renaissance, leader Manfred Cordes
      Recorded 8th –10th September 1995, Uthlede


      CCD released by Pan Classics, Sound Arts Switzerland Camilla de Rossi detta La Romana, 17th Century Baroque Chamber Ensemble "Musica fiorita" - Basel. Musical Director: Daniela Dolci


       Antonia Bembo  (1640 - 1720)


      Antonia Bembo (c. 1640–c. 1720) was an Italian composer and singer. She was born in Venice and died in Paris. She was the daughter of Giacomo Padoani, a doctor, and married Lorenzo Bembo in 1659. She moved to Paris before 1676, possibly to leave a bad marriage. There she sang for Louis XIV. Louis granted her a pension and housing at Petite Union Chrétienne des Dames de Saint Chaumont, a religious community. She was a contemporary of Élisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre.

      Six volumes of Bembo's music survive in manuscript in six volumes at the Bibliothèque nationale de France as the Produzioni ormoniche, most of them dedicated to Louis XIV. These contain a certain amount of autobiographical information, which has been corroborated through other sources. She was taught by Francesco Cavalli (who also taught Barbara Strozzi) by 1654 and wrote in all the major genres of the time, including opera, secular and sacred cantatas, petit and grand motets. Her work is a combination of French and Italian styles. She uses the virtuosic elements of Italian style of the period, as well as French dance forms. Much of her work is for soprano voice with continuo accompaniment. Her opera was L'Ercole amante (1707), to a libretto by Francesco Buti.



      More about Antonia Bembo -

      It may come as something of a surprise to learn that at least four of the Venetian students of Francesco Cavalli were women: the singer-composer Barbara Strozzi, the nobles Betta Mocenigo and Fiorenza Grimani, and the young singer Antonia Padoani. In 1654 Padoani’s father, the medical doctor Giacomo, wrote to the Duke of Mantua, Carlo II Gonzaga, to report on the progress made by his daughter in her lessons with the great maestro di cappella of Saint Mark’s. Further correspondence in that year identifies her as “la figlia che canta” (“the singing girl”). Beyond this one indication of her music-making and the dedication of Produzioni armoniche—in which she describes herself as having “qualche talento nel canto” (“some talent in singing”) with which she was introduced to the king—no other mention of her musical activity has yet been located in Paris or in Venice. Yet a musical career she clearly had, one which allowed her to compose a great deal of music. Following Produzioni armoniche, she wrote many more works in most of the current vocal genres of the day: a five-voice occasional Divertimento, two Te Deum settings, psalm settings on Latin and French texts, and an opera, all of these preserved uniquely in manuscripts at the Paris Bibliothטque Nationale.

      Born around 1640 to Dr. Padoani and Diana Paresco, Antonia studied music and letters with two private tutors--in addition to Cavalli, she had a Latin teacher—a luxury usually available only to the patriciate. Clearly her parents wanted the best for their only child. In addition to the letter that Padoani wrote to the duke about her progress with her distinguished teacher, further correspondence from 1654 reveals her in very fine musical company indeed; her father considered a match for her with the illustrious guitarist Francesco Corbetta (c. 1615-81). As if to adumbrate Padoani’s connection to the Mantuan court, we learn that the first position held by Corbetta had been in service to the Gonzaga, a decade before this meeting with the Padoanis. Corbetta, not one to stay anywhere for long, had soon obtained a passport from Mantua with which he had meanwhile traveled to Vienna, Brussels, Hannover, Spain, and... Paris. Might it have been Corbetta’s praise of the French court when he met the young Antonia that inspired her youthful admiration for the monarch, one that she described as dating from childhood and that her alter ego Clytie poetically fashioned as “since the cradle”?

      Antonia’s music teacher, too, may have furthered her curiosity about France. As the foremost Italian opera composer of his day, in 1660 Francesco Cavalli accepted an invitation to Paris to stage a dramatic work upon the occasion of the king’s wedding to Maria Teresa of Spain. Despite competition and tensions with the opportunistic Jean-Baptiste Lully, during his stay Cavalli managed to produce L’Ercole amante on a libretto by Francesco Buti, a dramatist with nearly two decades experience in France. Doomed to failure because of production delays in the opera house itself, the opera did not please the French public and Cavalli returned to Venice in 1662 in low spirits. When Bembo took up the libretto again and entirely refashioned L’Ercole amante in 1707, she made a tacit connection to her teacher: as a Venetian composer in Paris using the same libretto for an entirely new setting, she underscored her musical pedigree.

       Despite her father’s efforts to marry her to Corbetta, the union did not take place and the guitarist continued his European travels without ever permanently attaching himself to any country, court, or person. Doctor Padoani may have been disappointed that his daughter could not or would not take on the musical career that he may have envisioned for her. Instead her interests turned toward a Venetian nobleman; in 1659 she married Lorenzo Bembo (1637-1703), a descendent of the patrician family’s best-known member, Pietro Bembo (1470-1547). The newlywed couple lived in the Padoani home in Venice for the first year of their marriage. Significant conflicts between her father and husband surfaced almost immediately, but her allegiances were with the latter in the early years of their marriage. Three children were born to them at the Padoani’s Paduan home: Diana, Andrea, and Giacomo. Following Dr. Padoani’s death in 1666, Antonia and Lorenzo returned to Venice to live in the parish of San Moisט, near St. Mark’s.

      Soon thereafter Lorenzo joined several nobles conscripted in the final battles of the War of Candia at Crete (1631-69). Left on her own to care for the three young children, Antonia later wrote that during his absence they had very little on which to subsist. Alas, this declaration appeared in legal papers in which she sued for divorce.

      After Lorenzo returned from Greece, the marriage quickly disintegrated and the two lived separately in Venice. The divorce request drawn up by Antonia in 1672 charged Lorenzo with physical brutality, infidelity, stealing her belongings, and negligence of family support. He denied the accusations and she lost the case. Might it have been the humiliation that she suffered from publicly accusing him and then being proven wrong that made her feel she must escape to a better life that she imagined awaited her in Paris? Like Clytie, was she thus “despised by fortune”? Perhaps then it was not entirely her admiration for Louis XIV that drew her to France, but it would be under his protection that she would find solace and resolution. Poetic license gave Clytie the same liberty, tracing her fondness for the “Sun” since childhood.

      Perhaps it was Corbetta—her old friend and fellow musician—who helped her to escape. At the time of her departure in winter 1676-77 he had been granted a pass to travel from England “to foreign parts,” perhaps Venice. Antonia did not leave without making careful plans. She took some of her belongings to the homes of various acquaintances in the city, but left her most valuable possessions at the convent of Saint Bernard on Murano, out of Lorenzo’s reach. She entrusted her daughter Diana to the abbess and a friend at the convent; her sons presumably stayed with their father. Bembo’s preface to Produzioni armoniche alludes to her financial difficulties in France; she probably could take along but few of her own possessions and a limited supply of ready money. She wrote that the king had taken mercy on her predicament and offered her shelter in a women’s community, the Petite Union Chrיtienne des Dames de Saint Chaumont (“Small Christian Union of the Women of Saint Chaumont”) in the parish of Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle, then on the outskirts of Paris but now located in the ninth arrondissement. Established in the early years of the 1680s, this non-cloistered community offered shelter to women who had been left alone for various reasons. If Corbetta indeed proves to have been Antonia Bembo’s escort from Venice to Paris, she would have needed assistance at exactly the time that the Parisian women’s community was formed. He died in April 1681, when the Mercure de France published an obituary extolling his musical talents.

      The pension given by the king to the Christian Union provided Bembo with a “room of her own” in the community. In the dearth of documentary evidence about the composer and her music, however, one wonders if her works were performed and, if so, in what way and under which circumstances. As a soprano, she surely sang most of the forty-one pieces of the Produzioni armoniche. But what of the three-, four-, and five-voice works, such as are found in the motets, the psalm settings, the divertimento, and the opera? Did sacred and secular works overlap to the same extent as in seicento Italy, so as to allow their performance in the women’s community? Many of the larger works call for men’s voices; how would these have been supplied? How well acquainted might Antonia have been with her contemporary the composer Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de La Guerre? Taken together their works constitute the overwhelming majority of music composed by women during Louis XIV’s reign.

      These and many other questions are treated in my forthcoming book on the composer, Desperate Measures: The Life and Music of Antonia Padoani Bembo. Several scholars join me in editing her works, a few of which have been published and appear in the list above. There are as yet no commercially available recordings to be had—sopranos, especially, take note! We eagerly await recording projects that will one day yield a discography.

      Works of  A. Bembohttp:




      ABe.01 ERCOLE AMANTE vx 17/ch.5/orch.6/bc
      Arie ad una voce e bc

      ABe.02 air ABBI PIETÀ DI ME ut1/bc

      ABe.03 air ANIMA PERFIDA ut1/bc

      ABe.04 air BEATA SIRENA ut1/bc

      ABe.05 air CHI DESIA VIVER IN PACE ut1/bc

      ABe.06 air DI BELL'IRE ACCESI I SGUARDI ut1/bc

      ABe.07 air E CHE AVETE BELL'INGRATO ut1/bc

      ABe.08 air FREME BOREA ut1/bc

      ABe.09 air IN AMOR CI VUOLE ARDIR ut1/bc

      ABe.10 air M'INGANNASTI IN VERITA' ut1/bc

      ABe.11 air MI BASTA COSÌ ut1/bc

      ABe.12 air MI CONSOLO E NON SON SOLO ut1/bc

      ABe.13 air NON M'HAI VOLUTO CREDERE ut1/bc

      ABe.14 air PACE A VOI PIOGGE BEATE ut1/bc

      ABe.15 air PRENDETE LA POSTA ut1/bc

      ABe.16 air S'È LEGGE D'AMORE ut1/bc

      ABe.17 air SON SCIOLTI I MIEI LACCI ut1/bc

      ABe.18 air VOLGETE ALTROVE IL GUARDO ut1/bc

      ABe.19 air AH QUE L'ABSENCE ut1/bc
      Arie a due voci e bc

      ABe.20 duo AMOR MIO FACCIAM LA PACE ut1,ut1/bc

      ABe.21 duo NON CREDER A SGUARDI ut1,ut4/bc

      ABe.22 duo AMANTI A COSTO DI PIANTI ut1,fa4/bc
      Cantate ad una voce e bc

      ABe.23 CLIZIA AMANTE DEL SOLE ut1/bc

      ABe.24 cantate DAL CENTRO DELLA LUCE ut1/bc

      ABe.25 cantate GRAN RE CHE TUTTO A TUTTI ut1/bc

      ABe.26 cantate IMMENSO SPLENDORE ut1/bc



      ABe.29 cantate O DEL CELTICO SCETTRO ut1/bc

      ABe.30 cantate OR CHE LAMPEGGIA IN CIELO ut1/bc

      ABe.31 cantate PASSAN VELOCI L'ORE ut1/bc


      ABe.33 cantate QUAL MI BALENA AL GUARDO ut1/bc

      ABe.34 cantate TE VIDER GLI AVI MIEI ut1/bc
      Cantate ad una voce, due strumenti e bc

      ABe.35 cantate CHIARO ESEMPIO DI GLORIA ut1/d,d/bc

      ABe.36 PER IL NATALE ut1/d,d/bc
      Cantate a più voci, due strumenti e bc


      ABe.38 DIVERTIMENTO PER LA NASCITA DEL DUCA DI BRETAGNA ut1,ut1,ut3,ut4,fa4/d,d/bc
      Mottetti in latino ad una voce e bc



      Mottetto in latino ad una voce, uno strumento e bc

      Mottetto in latino a due voci e bc

      ABe.43 DOMINE SALVUM FAC REGEM ut1,ut1/bc
      Mottetti in latino a più voci e strumenti

      ABe.44 EXAUDIAT TE DOMINUS ut1,ut1,fa4/d,d/bc

      ABe.45 TE DEUM LAUDAMUS ut1,ut1,fa4/d,d/bc

      ABe.46 TE DEUM LAUDAMUS ut1,ut1,ut3,ut4,fa4,fa4/orch.6/bc
      Mottetti in francese ad una voce, due strumenti e bc

      ABe.47 motet FAIS-MOI MISÉRICORDE ut1/d,d/bc

      ABe.48 motet DU PROFOND ABÎME ut3/d,d/bc
      Mottetti in francese a più voci, uno strumento e bc

      Abe.49 motet SI JE PUIS ESPÉRER ut1,ut1/d/bc

      Abe.50 motet SEIGNEUR QUI VOIS MES PLEURS ut1,fa4/d/bc

      ABe.51 motet NE ME FAIS POINT SENTIR sol2,ut1,ut4/d/bc
      Mottetti in francese a più voci, due strumenti e bc

      ABe.52 motet NE M'EXAMINE POINT ut1,ut1/d,d/bc

      ABe.53 motet HEUREUX CELUI DONT LES FAUTES PASSÉES ut1,ut1,ut3,fa4/d,d/bc



      Book about Bembo    


       Music of Antonia Padoani Bembo

       by Claire Fontijn


      "Desperate Measures is ground-breaking, eye-opening, substantial and painstakingly researched."--Robert Manning, The Consort
      "This is a work of exemplary archival research and musicological import for scholars, complemented by a valuable recording. This will be the definitive Antonia Bembo biography for years to come."-Honorable Mention, Pauline Alderman Award, International Alliance of Women and Music.
      "In Desperate Measures, Claire Fontijn relates a fascinating account of a young girl's journey from the Venice of famed composer Francesco Cavalli to Paris at the end of the reign of Louis XIV. Through impeccable research and close attention to a wide variety of documentary gems, Antonia Padoani Bembo's life and music are presented here in rich detail. This book provides a complete and satisfying portrait of a courageous woman who abandoned her family to follow her muse in a supportive community in France. Fontijn demonstrates that Antonia Bembo deserves to be much better known, not only as a woman composer, but as a significant figure in the history of Baroque music."--Beth and Jonathan Glixon, University of Kentucky
      "Desperate Measures presents the definitive study of one of the most gifted pupils of Cavalli. Claire Fontijn's vivid prose and thorough research bring readers from the 17th-century Venetian lagoon to the banks of the Seine. By giving life to the child prodigy Antonia Bembo, the author casts light on the long unnoticed woman composer who participated in the foundation of music employing the united tastes known as les gouts reunis."--Jean-Paul C. Montagnier, University of Nancy, France
      "Desperate Measures stands midway between scholarly work and novel--with the rigor of the former and the readability of the latter."--Dr. Giovanni Zanovello, Padua, Italy
      Product Description
      One of the most fascinating figures of seventeenth-century music, composer and singer Antonia Padoani Bembo (c.1640 - c.1720) was active in both Venice and Paris. Her work provides a unique cross-cultural window into the rich musical cultures of these cities, yet owing to her clandestine existence in France, for almost three centuries Bembo's life was shrouded in mystery. In this first-ever biography, Clare Fontijn unveils the enthralling and surprising story of a remarkable woman who moved in the musical, literary, and artistic circles of these European cultural centers.


      Bianca  Maria  Meda ( ca. 1665 - ca. 1700)

      Bianca Maria Meda
      Two motets for 4 voices

      Italian composer. We know almost nothing about Bianca Meda's life; she seems to have taken her vows at the Benedictine house of S. Martino del Leano in Pavia at some point in the 1680s. She published Motetti a uno, due, tre, quattro voci at Bologna in 1691,

      Ardete, celestes flammæ SATB/Bc or SAAA/Bc
      Vibrate, fulmina SATB/Bc or SASA/Bc

      The two motets in this edition come from Bianca Maria Meda’s only known work, the Mottetti a 1, 2, 3, e 4 voci, con violini. This motet collection, published in Bologna in 1691, contains twelve pieces: two solos (with paired violin accompaniment), two duets, four trios and four quartets (SATB). Though little is known of Meda’s life, she was a nun in the monastery of San Martino del Leano, in Pavia.

      The two motets presented here were intended for performance within the context of a church service. The texts are written in the first person feminine and express an intimate relationship between the speaker and Christ that identifies the female subject as a cloistered nun. It is probable that these texts were written by a nun from "il Leano," and quite possible that they were written by Meda herself. The texts are an example of imitatio Christi - the desire to suffer as a way of demonstrating passion for, and devotion to, Christ - a common trope in the contemporary writings of women religious.

      Musically, these motets contrast solo or duet passages with four-part tutti sections, and triple sections with duple. In the version for women’s voices the bass parts of both motets have been transposed up an octave, while the tenor part is transposed up only in one piece.

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