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Strozzi: Sacri Musicali Affetti; Gianoncelli, etc. / Kiehr, Concerto Soave
Maria Cristina Kiehr, Concerto Soave, Barbara Strozzi
Strozzi: Sacri Musicali Affetti; Gianoncelli, etc. / Kiehr, Concerto Soave
Genres: Special Interest, New Age, Pop, Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (16) - Disc #1

This is the only recording of sacred music by the extraordinary 17th-century Venetian singer and composer Barbara Strozzi. The Latin works in her collection Sacri Affetti Musicali were entirely suitable for church performa...  more »

      
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This is the only recording of sacred music by the extraordinary 17th-century Venetian singer and composer Barbara Strozzi. The Latin works in her collection Sacri Affetti Musicali were entirely suitable for church performance--something Strozzi herself, as a woman outside a convent, was forbidden to do. Most likely she performed these pieces as "spiritual recreation" at meetings of the "Academy of the Unisons" founded by her father, a well-known poet. The music is written in a rhapsodic, early-baroque style, with strong contrasts between loud and soft, changes of meter, surprising chromatic turns of melody, and plenty of the flights of virtuosity for which Strozzi's singing was famed. Argentine soprano Maria Cristina Kiehr can certainly handle this music's technical demands, and she phrases with subtlety. Her voice sounds beautifully pure but also slightly constricted, and however skillfully she sings, this rapturous music wants more élan than she brings to it. She is accompanied by a continuo group that includes various combinations of cello, lute, viol, harpsichord, organ, and harp; these instruments get choice solo turns in the brief instrumental works sprinkled among Strozzi's vocal pieces. --Matthew Westphal