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Lucrezia Borgia's Daughter

Lucrezia Borgia's Daughter

Ref: CD717

Motets from a 16th century convent

Leonora d’Este , a member of the famed C16th century Italian family the Borgias, was a princess, a nun and a musician. Research shows she was almost certainly the composer of these magical motets composed by a woman for women to sing. The release of this recording earlier this year aroused great interest from The Guardian to Woman’s Hour!

71min CD, 16 tracks

Price    12.99

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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.

1 Tribulationes civitatum audivimus (5’34)
2 Suscipe verbum, virgo Maria (3’57)
3 Haec dies quam fecit Dominus (5’53)
4 Ego sum panis vitae (5’45)
5 O salutaris hostia (2’59)
6 Veni sponsa Christi (1’41)
7 Salve sponsa Dei (2’02)
8 Hodie Simon Petrus (2’55)
9 Ave sanctissima Maria (2’54)
10 Sicut lilium inter spinas (1’44)
11 Angelus Domini descendit (12’13)
12 Felix namque es (3’53)
13 Angustiae mihi sunt (3’16)
14 O beate Christi confessor (3’45)
15 Iste est Joannes (7’40)
16 Angeli archangeli troni (5’38)

Total time (71’49)


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