BAROQUE MUSIC FROM VENICE- “TEARS vs. SONG”: The Intriguing Life of Barbara Strozzi ( 1619-1677) – A concert with the outstanding baroque group ENSEMBLE MASQUE in Norðurljós Harpa October 17th at 7.30 PM
A narrated recital exploring the life and music of 17th century Venetian singer and composer Barbara Strozzi, performed by Ensemble Masques with guest artist, the outstanding French barock-soprano Maïlys De Villoutreys will take place in Norðurljós Harpa Tuesday evening October 17th at 7.30 PM.
Olivier Fortin, harpsichord (and Masques director)
Mélisande Corriveau, baroque cello, viol & recorder
Kathleen Kajioka, baroque violin
Maîlys de Villoutreys, baroque soprano
Barbara Strozzi (1619-1677): Arias & Ariettas for soprano and continuo, and for soprano, violin and continuo; supplemented with instrumental chamber music by her Venetian contemporaries Francesco Cavalli, Dario Castello, Marco Uccellini, and others, all framed by original narration colourfully outlining Strozzi’s life and historical context.
The story of Barbara Strozzi is one ripe for the telling. Her exceptional status as a woman who held space in the unapologetically male circles of public arts and intellectual discourse raises so many questions: Who was she? What was she contending with? How did she slip through the opaque gender ceiling of the time? And of course, most of all, there’s her music: 8 publications in all, reflecting her own vocal skill and artistry in what is often referred to as true ‘singer’s music’.
Additionally, the instrumental music of Strozzi’s Venetian contemporaries, writing in what was called the “Stylus Phantasticus,” lives up to that description, and will add dynamic musical context to the story.
Over the past two decades, Ensemble Masques has earned an international reputation for expert and dynamic performances of 17th & 18th century chamber music, displaying the highest values of technical precision and vivid artistry. This project grows out of our 15th recording, just released on Alpha, featuring vocal and instrumental music by Giovanni Legrenzi (1626-1690). It was our first major foray into 17th century Italian music, and inspired us to explore it further. It is a repertoire particularly rich with context to explore and to share, representing the locus of innovation in Western music at that time, created in the midst of a fascinating cultural moment.
Kathleen Kajioka, violinist and violist with Masques, is also an on-air presenter at The New Classical FM (Toronto), where she hosts the nightly radio programme A Little Night Music. A passionate and compelling communicator, she has brought her fifteen yearsexperience in public speaking and storytelling to our past two narrated programs, The Crown’s Jewel — 350 Years of Couperin (2018), and The Boy from Bologna – Corelli Explored (2019).