Barbara Strozzi (1619-1677)
Ariette a voce sola Op. 6, 1657
Barbara Strozzi had the good luck to be born in 1619 in Venice, in a world rich in creativity, intellectualebullience and artistic freedom. She became well-known as a composer and singer, and published eightcollections of vocal music (125 chamber cantatas) without the support of the Church or the patronageof an aristocratic family. Her works were included in important anthologies published in Europeand England. She died in Padua, in 1677. She was the adoptive daughter of Giulio Strozzi, and veryprobably his natural daughter; in order to promote her shows, in 1637 the poet founded the Accademiadegli Unisoni. The very limited biographical information we have about Barbara’s private life revealsthe personality of a woman endowed with extraordinary talent, beauty, intellect and entrepreneurship. Her Op. 6, published in Venice in 1657, includes cantatas and stanza arias. These compositions showthe influence of Claudio Monteverdi, and are characterised by a great expressiveness based on the forceof music, which always highlights and magnifies the emotions transmitted by the text. This programme presents some Ariette and is enriched by short pieces for solo harpsichord. The harpsichord introductions to the Ariette come from the seventeenth-century manuscript ChigiQ.IV.27, preserved in the Biblioteca Vaticana in Rome. This manuscript contains a series of anonymouspreludes, whose style of composition is reminiscent of that of Barbara Strozzi.