Thursday, 31 January 2008

44. Barbara Strozzi - Cantatas (1650s)


Title: Cantates
Performer: Susanne Ryden (soprano), Ensemble Musica Fiorita
Year: 1998
Length: 73 minutes


This is a truly lovely recording, few vocal works until now have been as emotive as this recording of Barbara Strozzi's works. Strozzi comes across as a stupendous composer of beautiful and emotional songs in a large scale and the performance of this recording only makes it more so. Susanna Ryden has an amazingly emotive voice, that of someone who understands and empathises with the text.

This is a truly great album, all the independence of mind and spirit of Strozzi comes across in spades here, and then the music is so beautiful, the Cantatas are just something else, with a very big dramatic sense.

Strozzi never wrote an opera but if she would have done it as well as she made these cantatas we would probably not be talking so much about Monteverdi, so this is a really indispensable addition to your library, unfortunately this particular CD seems to be almost impossible to get by legal means, so there is always eMule!

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

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.

Che Si può Fare, and yes that's a guy:

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