Abbess Hildegard von Bingen (1098?-1179) is one of history's best known female composers, as well as having been a poet, writer, philosopher, mystic, natural scientist and physician. Her music is generally melismatic, monophonic and strongly connected to the text, the topic of which is often women and the feminine side of regligion.
Isabella Leonarda (1620-1704) born in Novara, Italy, where she joined the abbey Collegio di S Orsola aged 16. Within the abbey she tought music and gained an impressive reputation for her compositions within the local area. Her sonatas Opus 16, published in 1693, are probably the world's oldest published sonatas composed by a woman, and two of them will be performed here.
Lucrezia Orsina Vizzana (1590-1662) was a singer, organist and composer in an abbey in Bologna which she had joined in 1598. Her motettes, Componimenti musicali de motetti concertati a 1 e più voci, were published in Venice in 1623, and are generally for solo voice or a duet.
Laude, pl. lauda, were sacred verses sung in native languages out in the country, outside the court or the formal worship of the church, generally in connection with Christmas or other Christian occasions.
Translation: Jón Hafsteinn Guðmundsson