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Lucrezia Borgia's Daughter: Princess, Nun and Musician

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Conductor: Laurie Stras and Deborah Roberts
  • Composer: Anonymous
  • Audio CD (3 Mar. 2017)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Obsidian
  • ASIN: B01N6IU06P
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,738 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Digital Booklet: Lucrezia Borgia's Daughter
Digital Booklet: Lucrezia Borgia's Daughter
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Product description

Product Description

Suor Leonora d Este (1515 1575), Lucrezia Borgia s daughter, was a princess, a nun, and a musician. She left little to illuminate her history, but an obscure book of motets may at least help us understand her musical life: the Musica quinque vocum motteta materna lingua vocata, published in Venice in 1543. The book is anonymous, but it contains clues to its origins that lead us to the door of Leonora d Este s home, the convent of Corpus Domini in Ferrara, perhaps even suggesting that she was its unidentified composer. This music is the earliest published polyphony for nuns. This recording by Musica Secreta and Celestial Sirens allows it to be heard for the first time through carefully researched performances.

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Alledgedly written by Lucrezia Borgia's daughter Leonora d'Este, who was a nun of the Second Order of St. Francis at Corpus Domini.

According to the excellent notes (included,) the nuns sang polyphony in an outer, more public, chamber of the convent--available to the ears of any passing peasant (or noble-person.)

To an organization fond of hierarchy, public access to the nuns' songs was revolutionary. We cannot say for certain, but perhaps all Western popular music written and sung by women began here. In the 16th century music written by women was exceedingly rare, so brava Leonora! (It is still too rare that women own the means and expression of their music.)

I suspect that the spiritual and pervading peace imparted by these beautiful songs will one day be proven to be a neurological phenomenon. We seem to be made to respond profoundly to music.

For me, these uplifting, serene motets inspire a contempletive frame of mind, sounds I much prefer to the synthesized "New Age" music one hears too often in spas and meditation retreats.

Give me that old time Renaissance music any day instead.
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Format: MP3 Download
A treasure of a recording. Each track left me stunned. Cannot recommend highly enough. An additional bonus to such first-class music making is the remarkable scholarship behind the project which you can read about in the booklet. An absolute delight to the ear and mind!
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Earlier Ryan expected! Great!
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Amazon.com: 0.0 out of 5 stars 0 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Peace and beauty can fill your day in this gift from Renaissance Italy 1 April 2017
By Triplicate - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Some evidence exists that these motets were written by Lucrezia Borgia's daughter Leonora d'Este. They were revolutionary for the 16th century on at least two counts: 1.) They were sung by nuns in an outer chamber of the convent and anyone could hear them. 2.) They were not only sung somewhat publically by women, they were written by a woman. Both counts break rules about hierarchy: on the one hand a peasant could chance to hear music the noble enjoyed (for God.) On the other other hand, it is rare even today for a woman to enjoy the full flowering of her musical talent in any venue.

In my opinion, these glorious songs continue to bring joy, peace and a contemplative frame of mind, just as they were meant to in the 16th century.
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