Agave Baroque - Queen Of Heaven (CD)
Release Date: 04/27/15
Music in honor of the Virgin Mary by the 17th centuryâs most prolific female composer, written at a time when women making music was often forbidden.
You are the Spouse of the Creator; You are the Mother of the Redeemer: You are the Pious Font of Love - cast your gaze toward us and bless us. Isabella Leonarda (1620-1704), from O Maria, quam dulcis, quam cara Although the Roman Catholic establishment did not accept the Divine Feminine as orthodoxy, within the walls of many convents in 17th century Italy, nuns ascribed to the Blessed Virgin Mary her own trinity, venerating her as Maiden, Mother, and Queen of Heaven. They also cultivated an unorthodox tradition of making music at a time when women typically had neither the education nor the freedom to write and perform music at a professional level. Anna Isabella Leonarda was born to a wealthy family whoâ'like many others,opted to send their daughter to spend her life as a nun rather than having to pay a hefty marriage dowry. At the age of sixteen, Leonarda entered the Collegio di SantâOrsola, where she received a solid musical education and lived a fairly privileged life within her order, rising to become Mother Superior in her sixties, and dying a local celebrity at the age of 84. During her remarkable career, Leonarda published 20 volumes of musicâ'a worthy achievement for any 17th century composer, let alone a woman in an age of repression by Church and family patriarchy alike. Her first works, published when she was twenty, appear alongside those of her probable teacher, Gasparo Casati, in 1640. Her final collection appeared in 1700, the year the composer turned eighty, and include some of her finest works. Leonarda was an accomplished poet, and most probably wrote many of the texts to her non-liturgical works, including the three motets on this album. Her poetry is intimate, deeply personal, and speaks to the central place the Virgin Mary held in the worship life of the Ursuline community. Leonardaâs collection of instrumental music, published in 1693, includes the earliest known sonata for solo violin and basso continuo written by a female composer. Her style is at once forward-looking and grounded in the forms of the earlier 17th century. The result is music with a unique voice, vivacious, witty, and full of deep, abiding faith. TRACK LISTING: 1. Sonata quarta, Op. 16 no. 4 (1693) - 10:32 2. Quam dulcis Es, Op. 13 no. 2 (1687) - 10:29 3. Sonata duodecima, Op. 16, no. 12 (1693) - 9:24 4. Venite, laetantes, Op. 20 no. 12 (1700) - 6:20 5. Sonata prima, Op. 16 no. 1 (1693) - 10:16 6. O Maria, quam dulcis, quam cara, Op. 20 no. 8 (1700) - 7:58
|Label: Vgo Recordings|
|Run Time: 40 mins|