November 4, 2022
Isabella Leonarda was born into minor nobility in 1620 in Novara, Italy. At the age of 16, she entered the Ursuline convent Collegio di Sant'Orsola, rising to the position of Madre superior in 1686 and Madre vicaria in 1693 before her death in 1704. During her 68 years at the convent, she composed more than two hundred published works, making her one of the most productive female composers of the 16th and 17th centuries.
Her approximately 100 solo motets combine technical virtuosity with a highly personal expression of religious fervor. The texts are frequently non-liturgical, rich in imagery and assumed to be written by Leonarda herself. They offer a fascinating insight into both Leonarda’s own deep and personified beliefs and the larger theological context of a 17th-century nunnery.
In spite of the high quality of her writing, most of Leonarda’s works have not be re-performed in modern times, and only a handful have been recorded or published in modern editions. Contralto Julie Comparini and harpsichordist Alina Rotaru perform six of Leonarda’s motets in a modern premiere.
Saturday, November 26th, 2022, 4:00 pm
Galleri Athene, Grønland 57, 3045 Drammen, Norwegen
Part of the concert series Kvinneligespor