MeF 355 - Barbara Strozzi : Quel misero usignolo, madrigal for 4 mixed voices and Basso Continuo.
Barbara Strozzi (Venice, 1619 - Padua, 1664), Italian soprano and composer, was the adopted (and natural) daughter of the poet and librettist Giulio Strozzi, who cared for her education and encouraged her musical career.
She studied composition with Francesco Cavalli (1602-1676), a pupil of Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643). She will be strongly influenced by these two masters.
A Virtuossima singer, she was associated from 1634 onwards as a singer, composer and inspiration to the influential and secret Accademia degli Incogniti in Venice.
Powerful patrons (the Doge of Venice Nicolò Sagredo, Emperor Ferdinand III of Hapsburg, Eleanor of Mantua, Sophie of the Palatinate and Bohemia...) assured her support and financial independence.
Very active, Barbara Strozzi published more than 125 works of secular (madrigals, arias and cantatas) and sacred music (Sacri musicali affetti, 1655). Many of the texts were written by his adoptive father, or his own. His compositions of vocal music depict the passions and pains of the soul with controlled poetry and virtuosity.
"La Strozzi" is, together with the soprano Francesca Caccini (1587-1640), one of the (rare) composers who, at the beginning of the 17th century, left their mark on the music of the first Italian Baroque.
© Didier Chagnas
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