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Thread: Barbara Strozzi c.1619 - 1677

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    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    Default Barbara Strozzi c.1619 - 1677



    Barbara Strozzi, a Venetian singer and composer, was most probably the illegitimate daughter of Giulio Strozzi, a poet and librettist, and his servant Isabella Garzoni. Barbara's father gave her an intensive musical education and arranged for her to study composition with Francesco Cavalli.

    She may or may not have been a courtesan, but after the father of her children, Giovanni Paolo Vidman (a patron of the opera), died, she supported herself from her investments and from her printed compositions. She was the most prolific writer of secular songs in the Venice of her day. Her poetry and lyrics were well-regarded, and she wrote mostly for the soprano voice, her work being rooted firmly in the secunda pratica tradition - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seconda_pratica.
    Last edited by Ingélou; Jun-21-2018 at 18:38.
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    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    I love Barbara Strozzi's songs for the way they marry emotion and lyric and music in a passionate fusion. In many of her songs, the thought process or the turn of feelings in a given situation is acted out through the music.

    This video performed by Cappella Mediterranea - currently on YouTube - is an excellent listen:



    It includes/ included the following songs by Barbara Strozzi:

    Barbara Strozzi, Virtuosissima Compositrice (1619-1677)
    Cappella Mediterranea - Leonardo García Alarcón - 2009
    Céline Sheen, Mariana Flores: soprani
    Fabián Schofrin: controtenore
    Jaime Caicompai, Andrés Silva: tenori
    Matteo Bellotto: basso

    0:00 - Hor che 'l ciel e la terra - Claudio Monteverdi, Madrigali guerrieri ed amorosi
    8:24 - Lagrime mie - Barbara Strozzi, Diporti di Euterpe, op.7
    17:22 - Priego ad amore - Barbara Strozzi, Il primo libro de madrigali, op.1
    21:03 - Dispietata pietate - Sigismondo d'India, Il terzo libro de madrigali
    23:41 - Che si può fare - Barbara Strozzi, arie e voce sola, op.8
    35:52 - Silentio nocivo - Barbara Strozzi, Il primo libro de madrigali, op.1
    40:43 - Vecchio amante - Barbara Strozzi, Il primo libro de madrigali, op.1
    46:09 - L'usignuolo - Barbara Strozzi, Il primo libro de madrigali, op.1
    50:32 - Sì ch'io vorrei morire - Claudio Monteverdi, Il quarto libro de madrigali
    53:31 - L'amante modesto - Barbara Strozzi, Il primo libro de madrigali, op.1

    It is - quite simply - fabulous.
    Even though Barbara Strozzi's songs have become fairly popular in Baroque circles of recent years, I believe she is underrated as a composer of vocal music.
    My fiddle my joy.

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    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    There are many other single songs on YouTube as I write. A list of those I listened to and found enjoyable can be found on post #463 of my thread For Love of the Baroque.
    For love of the Baroque...

    Two of my particular favourites are La Vendetta -

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zkLotxUTNg

    and Che si può fare -

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDBPfhG-gVk .
    Last edited by Ingélou; Jun-21-2018 at 18:44.
    My fiddle my joy.

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    I'm no Strozzi expert, but I have had this song (at least, that melody near the beginning...) stuck in my head for several days! Strozzi may be my favorite monodist.

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    I've fallen in love for Strozzi's melodies about a year ago.

    One astonishing fact: she has had eight published works (opus numbers) during her life. It probably has something to do with the fact that Venice was an early publishing hub (for music, books etc). Just to compare: Händel had 7 opus numbers and the last one was posthumous!

    Most of B. Strozzi's works are secular cantatas for solo voice. But her opus 5 - "Sacri musicali Affetti" - is a collection of 14 religious arias, many of them concerning the virgin Mary ("O Maria", "Salve Regina" etc).

    I suppose her works weren't played in the church - or any music composed by women at all. But her sacred works show the importance of religious music also out of the church, in aristocratic circles of 17th century Venice.

    Parts of her opus 5 had already been performed and recorded, but the first recording of the complete edition was published now in 2021:
    https://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item..._code=TC611990

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    Last edited by Chatellerault; Jul-28-2021 at 13:48.

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    Sr. Moderator Taggart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chatellerault View Post
    I suppose her works weren't played in the church - or any music composed by women at all. But her sacred works show the importance of religious music also out of the church, in aristocratic circles of 17th century Venice.
    There's a whole group of nun composers in 17th century Italy (and probably elsewhere) The best known is probably Isabella Leonarda
    After all, where would the nuns get access to new music except from within their own ranks?
    Music begins where words leave off. Music expresses the inexpressible.

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