We did it! You helped Musica Secreta raise £4,000 to fund a world premiere recording of the astonishing music of the materna lingua motets, written by a mysterious 16th-century nun who could be the daughter of Lucrezia Borgia. Our new CD, Lucrezia Borgia's Daughter, will be released in March 2017 and is now available for pre-order.
Musica Secreta has a long history of award-winning CDs that have opened up the world of female musicians from the 16th and 17th centuries. These include madrigals and motets from the court of Ferrara and unique recordings by the nun composers Chiara Margarita Cozzolani and Lucrezia Vizzana. We are now proud to make the music of Suor Anonima available to the world.
Why is this music important?
These extraordinary anonymous motets are the earliest published music that we can connect directly to the famous musical convents of renaissance Italy. The music seems to make clear why those who flocked to hear the nuns sing compared their music to the mysterious and celestial sound of angels, calling them the finest musicians in all Italy. Co-director of Musica Secreta, Prof Laurie Stras, has been living with this music on her computer since 2009, and her transcriptions were finally brought to life in a concert at Brighton Early Music Festival in October 2015.
What help did we seek?
The project featured ten singers, two players, and fifteen choral singers. The funds went towards artists' fees, recording and production costs, and the rental of an organ and a recording space.
Our crowdfunding goal of £4,000 only covered part of the costs, but it helped us secure additional funding from the Ambache Charitable Trust. In November 2016, the project was chosen to receive the American Musicological Society's Noah Greenberg Award, for collaboration between musicologists and performers.