Concerto delle donne
The concerto delle donne was a group of professional female singers. The ensemble was founded by Alfonso II, Duke of Ferrara, in 1580. The musical innovations established in the court were important in the development of the madrigal, and eventually the seconda pratica.
About Concerto delle donne in brief
The concerto delle donne was a group of professional female singers. The ensemble was founded by Alfonso II, Duke of Ferrara, in 1580. Their signature style of florid, highly ornamented singing brought prestige to Ferrara. The musical innovations established in the court were important in the development of the madrigal, and eventually the seconda pratica. The most prominent member of the new ensemble was Laura Peverara, followed by Livia d’Arco and Anna Guarini, daughter of the prolific poet Giovanni Battista Guarani. Giovanni wrote poems for many madrigals which were set for the ensemble, and choreographed scenes for the concerto donne. Tarquinia Molza sang with the group, but she was involved solely as an advisor and instructor and not, says Anthony Newcomb, in charge of the entire court’s musical activities after the court was dissolved in 1597. In addition to his overall duties to the court, Luzzasco de Wert came to light in 1589 when he composed to showcase the ensemble and accompanied them on the harpsichord and harp on the viola di girolamo, among other things. He directed and composed to the music showcase, and accompanied the ensemble on the violin, harp, and cello on the evenings and weekends of the court’s performances. He died in 1593. Judith Tickza believes the composer Luzz aschi wrote the libretto of the opera “L’Orchestra delle delle Donne” in 1590.
She says the composer was inspired by the music of the Italian court of the Medici and Orsini, and also by the works of Mozart and Beethoven. Tickza: “Luzzaschi’s music is a masterpiece of the late Renaissance, and it is a work of art in its own right” The composer’s music was published in 1595. It was published by the publisher Giacomo Vincenti, who praised the women as \”virtuose giovani\”, echoing the sentiments of contemporaneous diarists and commentators, and said the women were ‘virtuos’ and ‘giovani’ The group was active until 1597, when it was dissolved by the court. Its members were replaced by a new, professional group of female singers, the Concerto dell’Ortigliamento (Concerts of the Ladies of the Court), which was active from 1597 to 1599. The founding of the ladies’ ensemble was the most important event in secular Italian music in the late sixteenth century, writes Tickza. Word of the women’s ensemble spread across Italy, inspiring imitations in the powerful courts of theMedici andOrsini. This group, which led to the formation, performed within the context of the Duke’s musica secreta, performed for an exclusive audience.