Maddalena Casulana & Barbara Strozzi Rediscovered

March 8, 2023, 10:00 pm

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“…these first fruits of mine, flawed as they are…show the world the futile error of men who believe themselves patrons of the high gifts of intellect, which according to them cannot also be held in the same way by women…” So wrote Maddelena Casulana in the dedication in her first book of 1566.

In one of the most important musicological discoveries of recent years, the lost Alto partbook of Maddalena Casulana’s 1583 book of five-voice madrigals has been found. Living at a time in which women’s creativity was often stifled, Casulana (c.1544-c.1590) and her compatriot Barbara Strozzi (1619-1677) were only too aware their music would be judged inferior to men’s. Fieri Consort presents Casulana’s madrigals as a fresh perspective on Strozzi’s works, celebrating both composers’ skill with words and music.

Tonight’s special International Women’s Day program was recorded live in concert February 28, 2022 at King’s Place, London. Thanks to WFMT’s association with the European Broadcasting Union, we’ll be able to bring you tonight’s Baroque&Before as a stream for 30 days following the broadcast. A blue “Listen” button will appear when the link is accessible.


Maddalena Casulana (ca 1540-ca 1583)
Il primo libro di madrigali a cinque voci (1583)
– Come fiammeggia e splende
– Aura, che mormorando al bosco (Così non senti mai novo furore; Io d’odorate frondi e di bei fiori; Se vedrem poi destarsi lieta e bella

Barbara Strozzi (1619-1677)
Il primo libro di madrigali op. 1 (1644)
– Godere in gioventù

Maddalena Casulana
Caro dolce mio Amore, Tu mi dicesti Amore

Barbara Strozzi
Il contrasto de’ cinque sensi

Maddalena Casulana
Datemi pace, o duri i miei pensieri!
Il secondo libro di madrigali a quattro voci (1570)
– O notte, o ciel, o mar, o piaggie, o monti

Barbara Strozzi
Cantate, ariete a una, due e tre voci Op. 3 (1654
– Moralità amorosa, from ‘

Maddalena Casulana
Dolci e vaghi augelletti; O messaggier de miei pensieri

Barbara Strozzi
Le Tre Grazie a Venere

Maddalena Casulana
Bella d’Amor guerriera; Se da l’ardente humore; Morte? Che vuoi?; Ben venga il pastor mio; A dio Lidia, mia bella

Barbara Strozzi
Cantate, ariette e duetti op. 2 (1651)
– Morso e bacio dati in un tempo
Begli occhi, op. 3

Maddalena Casulana
Occhi vaghi e lucenti; Facciami quanto vuol, Fortuna ria; Ovunque volgi il piede

Fieri Consort
Hannah Ely, Lucinda Cox sopranos
Sarah Anne Champion, alto
Tom Kelly, tenor
Ben Rowarth, bass
Toby Carr, lute, theorbo
Aileen Henry, baroque harp
Harry Buckoke, viola da gamba