Roots, Shoots, and Celestial Flowers

Musica Secreta and Celestial Sirens The rise of the great convent choirs of Italy is told in music from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries celebrating the Virgin Mary. Anonymous laude – the private devotional music of the nuns – are performed alongside music found in the Brenzoni-Maffei manuscript from late fifteenth-century Verona, the Biffoli-Sostegni manuscript from sixteenth-century Florence, … Read more

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Not Mortals, But Angels: The Flowering of Convent Music

An entrancing introduction to the sound of the late medieval and early renaissance convent, with newly recovered music from the convents of Verona, Florence, and Ferrara. Anonymous works from convent manuscripts appear alongside works by the most illustrious composers of the age: Hildegard of Bingen, Binchois, Josquin des Prez, Suor Leonora d’Este, Cipriano de Rore, Giovanni … Read more

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Lucrezia Borgia’s Daughter

Lucrezia Borgia's Daughter

Music by Isaac, Josquin, Willaert, de Rore, Francesco della Viola, with anonymous 15th-century laude – and introducing the anonymous motets of the Musica…materna lingua vocata (1543), which we thing were composed by Suor Leonora d’Este, daughter of Alfonso I, Duke of Ferrara, and his second wife, the famous Lucrezia Borgia.

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Sacred Hearts, Secret Music

Sacred Hearts Secret Music

Musica Secreta and Celestial Sirens with SARAH DUNANT, NIAHM CUSACK and DEBORAH FINDLAY Directed by Nick Renton A vibrant and compelling mix of visual drama, spoken word and live music, Sacred Hearts, Secret Music conjures the atmosphere of a sixteenth-century convent, where the tranquility of centuries is suddenly threatened by internal divisions and spiritual scandal. A young … Read more

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Passion and the Princess

Meet the woman behind the famous ‘Singing Ladies of Ferrara’. Named after her grandmother Lucrezia Borgia, Princess Lucrezia d’Este, the Duchess of Urbino, was participant, patron and witness to the greatest music of the 16th-century at the court of Ferrara. Passion, violence, murder and treachery weave through her story, with music her one delight in the brutal world of Renaissance politics.

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Secret Carnivals

Musica Secreta and Celestial Sirens Music by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Cristobal Morales, Tomas Luis de Victoria, Paulo Isnardi, Marcantonio Ingegneri and Suor Leonora d’Este Join Musica Secreta and Celestial Sirens to bring in the May with chant, polyphony and song. Mirroring the May Carnival (Calendimaggio) outside the convent walls, sixteenth-century Italian nuns had music … Read more

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