Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Isabella Leonarda 6 September 1620 – 25 February 1704

  1. #1
    Sr. Moderator Taggart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Yorkshire (ex-Glasgow)
    Posts
    4,456
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Isabella Leonarda 6 September 1620 – 25 February 1704



    Anna Isabella Leonarda 6 September 1620 – 25 February 1704 was an Italian composer from Novara. At the age of 16 she entered an Ursuline convent. She was the daughter of Giannantonio Leonardi and his wife, Apollonia. The Leonardi were an old and prominent Novarese family whose members included important church and civic officials and knights palatine. Isabella’s father, who held the title of count, was a doctor of laws.

    In 1636, Leonarda entered the Collegio di Sant'Orsola, an Ursuline convent in Novara. Her family maintained close ties with Sant'Orsola as benefactors, which some speculate may have contributed to Leonarda's influence within the convent. She held various positions of authority throughout her time at Sant'Orsola - as madre (1676), superiora (1686), madre vicaria (1693), and consigliera (1700). She was also identified in documents as magistra musicae (music teacher). It seems from this that Leonarda played some role within the convent teaching the other nuns to perform music. This may have also afforded her opportunities for the performance of her works by the convent’s nuns.

    Leonarda’s works include examples of nearly every sacred genre: motets and sacred concertos for one to four voices, sacred Latin dialogues, psalm settings, responsories, Magnificats, litanies, masses, and sonata da chiesa. She also wrote a few sacred solo songs with vernacular texts. The intricate use of harmonies is one example of her influence in the cultivation of polyphonic music at Sant’Orsola, as many other Italian nun composers were doing at their own convents during the same period. This style created an atmosphere conducive to the creativity of the musician, allowing for slight improvisation or musical ornamentation.

    Almost all of Leonarda’s works carry a double dedication – one to the Virgin Mary as well as one to a highly placed living person. In one of her dedications, Leonarda stated that she wrote music not to gain credit in the world, but so that all would know that she was devoted to the Virgin Mary. The living dedicatees include the archbishop of Milan, the bishop of Novara, and Emperor Leopold I. The need to seek financial support for the convent likely motivated many of these dedications.



    While Leonarda was a highly regarded composer in her home city, she was apparently little known in other parts of Italy. Her published compositions span a period of 60 years, beginning with the dialogues of 1640 and concluding with the Motetti a voce sola of 1700. Leonarda is credited with producing nearly two hundred compositions during that period. Her only works appearing before 1670 were the dialogues printed by Gasparo Casati. It appears that she was over the age of 50 before she started composing regularly, and it was at that time that she began publishing the works that we know her for today. Not much is known about her involvement as a singer or instrumentalist but she was one of the most prolific convent composers of the Baroque era.
    Last edited by Taggart; Apr-20-2015 at 18:11.
    Music begins where words leave off. Music expresses the inexpressible.

  2. Likes Ingélou, Il_Penseroso, Rogerx liked this post
  3. #2
    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Gemtown in Yorkshire
    Posts
    5,693
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    36

    Default

    I am surprised that I haven't heard much about her, even in the Women Composer's Group.

    This one is lovely:

    My fiddle my joy.

  4. Likes Il_Penseroso, Taggart, Rogerx liked this post
  5. #3
    Sr. Moderator Taggart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Yorkshire (ex-Glasgow)
    Posts
    4,456
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Suddenly found that there has been a flurry of interest on her 400th anniversary.

    This is a nice selection of her sonatas:

    Music begins where words leave off. Music expresses the inexpressible.

  6. Likes Ingélou, Rogerx liked this post
  7. #4
    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    the Deep South
    Posts
    6,784
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Thanks for this, I've never heard of her. Always good to hear about another woman composer that I was unaware of, from these times especially.

  8. Likes Taggart liked this post
  9. #5
    Junior Member Listenerris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    40
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Thanks for this, intresting and magic era too.
    We exist in the world, and you and me.

  10. Likes Taggart liked this post

Similar Threads

  1. 7 virtuos Concertos by J.G.Graun (1703-1771) and C.H.Graun (1704-1759)
    By fahl5 in forum Recorded Music and Publications
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: Sep-20-2014, 09:13
  2. František Ignác Antonín Tůma (1704 - 1774)
    By mnsCA in forum Composer Guestbooks
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: Jun-15-2014, 19:55
  3. September Gramophone (or, appealing to Vesteralen's weaknesses)
    By Vesteralen in forum Classical Music Discussion
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: Sep-24-2011, 05:34
  4. Silver September
    By -E-M-I-N- in forum Recorded Music and Publications
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: Dec-21-2009, 20:00
  5. Brahms Symphony 3 comming september 2009
    By Chris Albion in forum Recorded Music and Publications
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: Jul-02-2009, 10:12

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •