MeF 635PDF - Vittoria Aleotti : Madrigal for 4 mixed voices "O dolce anima mia"
Vittoria Aleotti (circa 1573-1646)
Composer, harpsichordist and Augustinian nun from the Convent of San Vito in Ferrara .
She was one of the five daughters of Giovan Battista Aleotti, engineer and architect of the Duke of Ferrara Alfonso II. At the age of five, she began studying music after hearing the lessons her older sister received. Her father chose two eminent musicians as private teachers: Alessandro Milleville then Ercole Pasquini.
Very quickly Vittoria mastered several instruments (harp, harpsichord, organ) and began to compose.
To complete her musical studies, Pasquini advised the convent of San Vito in Ferrara, renowned for the excellence of its music. (She became its superior from 1636 to 1639).
Her father obtained verses and poems from the court poet Giovanni Battista Guarini (1538-1612) for the adolescent to set to music.
The madrigals were later published by Giacomo Vincenti in Venice in 1593 when she was 18 years old, under the name "Ghirlanda de madrigali a quatro voci.
The same year was printed "Sacrae cantiones quique, septem, octo and decem vocibus decantande", the first book of sacred music to be written, in the sixteenth century, by a woman.
At the end of her life, "Lady Aleotti"'s fame as an organist, composer and choirmaster at the Convent of San Vito was considerable.
© Didier Chagnas
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