Vizzana: Componimenti musicali (1623)
Catherine King (mezzo-soprano)
Re-released to coincide with International Women’s Day on 8th March 2016, Songs of Ecstasy and Devotion celebrates the Italian composer Lucrezia Vizzana, whose musical accomplishments have been overlooked due to her gender.
Musica Secreta, an ensemble dedicated to discovering and performing repertoire by women composers, create an exquisite sound with a performance that provides a fascinating musical insight.
This recording features Vizzana’s complete surviving works: twenty finely crafted motets which are both sensual and spiritual.
Vizzana learnt her craft from the Italian masters of Bologna, often in secret, creating works reminiscent of Monteverdi.
The publication of Vizzana’s Componimenti Musicali in1623 was a remarkable achievement having overcome the confines of both her gender and the convent to achieve renown as a composer.
Nearly four hundred years later women composers are still massively underrepresented throughout musical history, but Songs of Ecstasy and Devotion demonstrates why their voices should be more widely heard.