Hildegard von Bingen is a tough act to follow for anyone. But about years later Barbara Strozzi appears in Venice (). Another. Strozzi wrote and published prolifically, and her cantatas are worth study and discussion. Strozzi’s cantata, Lagrime mie, is a lament that presents such material . Barbara Strozzi () achieved success in the seventeenth century in , comes Lagrime mie, or My tears (Robin ). Analysis of this piece reveals .

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She was probably his natural daughter, legitimized in his will of Giulio himself was illegitimate, born in Venice, the son of Robert Strozzi later recognized by hima member of one of the most wealthy and powerful families of Florence, Italy.

Her mother was Isabella Garzoni, who worked for Giulio sttrozzi a servant, leading to the assumption that she was his mistress and Barbara their daughter. She published just over motets, madrigals, arias and cantatas, in eight volumes, between and and is credited with popularizing the cantata, which she wrote for the lyric soprano.

Not much is known of her childhood but it is known that she studied with Francesco Cavalli, the Director of St. She became known as an outstanding singer with a beautiful voice. In the composer Nicolo Fontei published a volume of lyrics dedicated to her, in which he gave her the title of La Virtuosissimo Cantatrice the most virtuosic singer.

Her father created the Academia degli Unisoni to exhibit abrbara talents. This atrozzi was mainly responsible for the invention and spread of opera.

Members met regularly to discuss subjects that invariably dealt with love.


She was beautiful and witty and acted as mistress of ceremonies, setting the topics and selecting the winners and performing her work. The members of the academy encouraged her sttozzi set their poems to music.

Her performances and participation in the academy were considered scandalous and inspired gossip and satirical poems to be written about her since women did not do such things in that day. Her art in music and love combined to make her a successful musician-composer in Venice. Many researchers have assumed that she was a courtesan but other researchers have cast doubt on that assumption.

She had four children by a colleague of her father, Giovanni Vidman, and lived with her family.

Barbara Strozzi: Lagrime mie – Song of the Day – No Song Is Safe From Us

A cantata came to mean a composition with continuo, solo voice based on a dramatic or lyrical text. Her cantatas were chamber music, intended for intimate gatherings rather than public performances for large audiences at the opera.

Venice, the birthplace of opera, was more open minded than other parts of Italy. Women could perform on stage, but the popularity of the high voice of the castrato gave them the lead singing parts. Perhaps that is one reason she did not like to perform before large crowds but preferred to sing in an intimate setting, because she was reputed to possess a beautiful soprano voice. Except for two stanzas of four eight-syllable lines each, which Strozzi set as a strophic aria measures 71 — 87 the ariathe text is made up of madrigal type verse of seven-and-eleven strozzl lines without a regular rhyme scheme.

She divided this free verse into sections according to content.


The words though, are those of a man. The tormented poet weeping over his lost love sings: Following the arioso, she recalls the weeping lament measures 49 — 60 in which she invokes the conventional emblem of the lament-the descending bass in triple meter.

No Song is Safe From Us

After the aria, a short recitative leads to a triple time bel canto section built on a descending-fourth basso continuo, which is abandoned lagrimee two closing sections, the first ending deceptively on G major measurethe last on the tonic E minor.

She never married, but lived with her parents and her four children, until the death of her parents, remaining afterwards in the family home. She spent her life composing and spent much of her money on publishing her works. Publishing was very expensive and paper costly. In she traveled to Padua, Italy where, after an illness of several months, she died and was buried in the Eremitani, an ancient church.

Anna Caterina Antonacci & Accademia degli Astrusi – “Lagrime mie” – Cantata – Barbara Strozzi.

She dedicated her works to different aristocrats: Carlo, Duke of Mantua, Ferdinand, Emperor of Austria to mention a few, never achieving the patronage of a wealthy aristocrat. Undoubtedly her music has achieved immortality because she did not have to sfrozzi to please a wealthy patron, but put to music the heartfelt poems of her father and friends.

Heinrich Schlusnus — — A blessed voice. A Double Faced Medea: