A woman composer emerges from the mists

A woman composer emerges from the mists

Album Of The Week

norman lebrecht

July 15, 2022

From the Lebrecht Album of the Week:


(She) … was no cloistered sister or shrinking violet. As a member of a teaching order, she got out and about all over northern Italy and had family connections with some of the wealthiest houses. This may help explain her freedom to compose at a time when the church kept cracking down on innovation, and on women. Even so, there are three barren decades in the middle of her life that remain unplumbed….


Read on here.

And here.

En francais ici.


  • Herbie G says:

    ‘The most prolific composer of the 17th century’????? Have you heard of J S Bach, Handel and Telemann, who wrote five times as many cantatas alone as her whole output of ‘surviving’ works?

    Was she just a mediocrity resurrected to prove a specious point (ie, anything men can do, women can do better) just like Florence Price, or is she really a composer superior to Bach, Handel, Scarlatti (A and D) Vivaldi, Rameau and Couperin (all of them)?

    • Diane B says:

      Florence Price is not just “another of those women who can do as a man”, she is responsable with the two other, William Grant Still and William Levi Dawson, of creating a new American style of classical music (like for ex. Aaron Copland is another typical American style) right at the beginning of XXth c. before others and are indispensable to music evolution. Plus the extension of their influences on music…

    • Aged Listener says:

      It should perhaps be pointed out that Bach (d. 1750), Handel (d. 1759), and Telemann (d. 1767) were all 18th-century composers.

  • Donald Venezia says:

    The record label Leonarda produced a cd with some of Leonarda’s music over 40 years ago. Brilliant Classics was not the first.

  • Jim says:

    I have a CD -The Gentle Muse – with soprano Jane Edwards performing arias by Leonarda, Franseca Caccini, and Barbara Strozzi; 17 first rate songs and performances. I think the CD is out of print, but worth tracking down if you can.