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Barbara Strozzi is, undisputedly, the best woman composer in the history of music. Adopted daughter of the librettist Giulio Strozzi, she enjoyed a superb musical training, with Francesco Cavalli acting as her tutor, and frequent contacts with Claudio Monteverdi. All this gave her a prodigal talent for communicating emotions deeply and sincerely. Her musical creativity is an ingenious synthesis of influences such as Venice's artistic environment in the 17th century, the revolutionary changes of the new music and the immense creative genius of Cavalli and Monteverdi.

Two times winners of the illustrious Gramophone Award, Claudio Cavina and his Italian vocal and instrumental ensemble La Venexiana begun to receive a strong critical vote of approval for their artistry with the release of this Strozzi CD, their first madrigal recording under the name of La Venexiana (as most of them had already received a previous Gramophone Award in 1994 as members of Rinaldo Alessandrini's famous Concerto Italiano). In 1997 Cantus proposed them to continue their successful series of madrigal recordings, this time under their new name and the artistic direction of Claudio Cavina. No need to say, of course, that they are some of the most experienced European performers in the early music field, and have been singing together for many years, establishing a new style in Italian early music performances: a warm, truly Mediterranean blend of textual declamation, textural colour and harmonic refinement. This repertoire seems to be created as if to let them fully show their expressive powers.

Barbara Strozzi's talent shines in these pieces, designed to show her exceptional dramatic powers and unique gifts for musical imagery. Many of these madrigals have the appearance of a succession of operatic scenes in miniature, each with its particular dramatic atmosphere and with the participation of several soloists.

The present CD enjoyed excellent reviews when it was originally printed, but now it will have a new live, as it has been fully remastered at the Mastering 21 Studios, by engineer Juan José Martín. He has restored the original strengths and fire of the performances in important aspects as the harmonics, the original reverberation of the venue, the stereo image and depth and colours. Now this astonishing music and revealing performances sound better than ever!


La Venexiana

  • Claudio Cavina, director
  • R. Bertini, F. Russo-Ermolli, A. Simboli, sopranos
  • C. Cavina, countertenor
  • S. Naglia, G. Maletto, tenors
  • S. Foresti, bass
  • P. Beier, F. Pavan, theorbos
  • F. Bonizzoni, harpsichord


Total time 62:00

86-pages booklet, with 3 articles by Claudio Cavina yand José Carlos Cabello

Recorded at Antigua Iglesia de San Miguel, Cuenca (Spain), February 1997

Recording and edigital editing, José Carlos Cabello

Digital remastering, Juan José Martín (Studio Mastering 21, April 2014)

Production La Venexiana

Cover Zampieri Domenichino: “La musica” (c 1630), Villa Borghese, Roma


***** (Diapason, Francia)
***** (Ritmo, España)
5 de Goldberg (España/Francia/USA)
9 de Répertoire (Répertoire, Francia)
**** (Le Monde de la Musique, Francia)

    ✋ Please adjust first the VOLUME control on the SPEAKER ⇓ before playing ▶

    Volano frettolosi (madrigale a 5 voci) - Barbara Strozzi (1619 - ca. 1664)
    O soffrire, o fuggire (a 3) - Barbara Strozzi (1619 - ca. 1664)
    Amor, Amor (a 5)- Barbara Strozzi (1619 - ca. 1664)

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