Heroines of Love and Loss

Record and Artist Details

Composer or Director: Anonymous, Barbara Strozzi, Antonio Vivaldi, Claudia Sessa, Alessandro Piccinni, Francesca Caccini, Henry Purcell, Giovanni Girolamo (aka Johann Hieronymous) Kapsberger, Lucrezia Vizzana, John Bennet

Genre:

Vocal

Label: BIS

Media Format: Super Audio CD

Mastering:

DDD

Catalogue Number: BIS2248

BIS2248. Heroines of Love and Loss

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
O death, rock me asleep Jonas Nordberg
Mime Yamahiro Brinkmann
Ruby Hughes
Anonymous Composer
Cantate, ariette e duetti Jonas Nordberg
Ruby Hughes
Barbara Strozzi Composer
Mime Yamahiro Brinkmann
Sonata for Cello and Continuo Jonas Nordberg
Ruby Hughes
Mime Yamahiro Brinkmann
Antonio Vivaldi Composer
Occhi io vissi di voi Jonas Nordberg
Ruby Hughes
Claudia Sessa Composer
Mime Yamahiro Brinkmann
Ciaccona in partite variate Jonas Nordberg
Ruby Hughes
Alessandro Piccinni Composer
Mime Yamahiro Brinkmann
Lasciatemi qui solo Francesca Caccini Composer
Mime Yamahiro Brinkmann
Ruby Hughes
Jonas Nordberg
Lagrime mie, a che vi trattenete Mime Yamahiro Brinkmann
Jonas Nordberg
Barbara Strozzi Composer
Ruby Hughes
Dido and Aeneas Ruby Hughes
Mime Yamahiro Brinkmann
Jonas Nordberg
Henry Purcell Composer
Toccata arpeggiata Ruby Hughes
Giovanni Girolamo (aka Johann Hieronymous) Kapsberger Composer
Mime Yamahiro Brinkmann
Jonas Nordberg
O magnum mysterium Lucrezia Vizzana Composer
Jonas Nordberg
Mime Yamahiro Brinkmann
Ruby Hughes
Venus' birds John Bennet Composer
Mime Yamahiro Brinkmann
Jonas Nordberg
Ruby Hughes
Willow Song Anonymous Composer
Mime Yamahiro Brinkmann
Ruby Hughes
Jonas Nordberg
Bonduca Ruby Hughes
Jonas Nordberg
Henry Purcell Composer
Mime Yamahiro Brinkmann
Ruby Hughes is a young soprano who won both first prize and the audience prize at the London Handel competition in 2009; for two years from 2011 she was a BBC New Generation artist. She has a warm, almost mellow voice, well suited to this enterprising selection of 17th-century songs. An overdose of melancholy is averted by the inclusion of instrumental pieces, including the movements of a Vivaldi cello sonata interspersed with the vocal items.

In fact it is with a piece for solo theorbo that the disc opens. Jonas Nordberg brings a touch of rubato to the Kapsberger Toccata that finds a counterpart in Mime Yamahiro Brinkmann’s expressive way with the Sarabanda of the Vivaldi. The second number is the air from Bonduca, where Purcell amusingly writes a vocal fanfare at ‘where the shrill trumpets never sound’. The pitch chosen for the recital, about a tone lower than today’s standard, seems to make Dido’s Lament especially poignant.

But the striking feature of the disc is the array of powerful pieces by Italian women composers. Barbara Strozzi’s L’Eraclito amoroso is a scena: the opening recitative is followed by four stanzas over a minor-key descending ground bass. Her Lagrime mie is similarly dramatic, incorporating recitative and arioso. Yet another lament, Lasciatemi qui solo by Francesca Caccini, daughter of Giulio, elicits subtly responsive playing from Nordberg’s theorbo. The sacred pieces by Claudia Sessa and Lucrezia Vizzana are not quite so memorable; but to all of them Ruby Hughes brings an exemplary understanding and stylishness. In the anonymous last piece, the words attributed to Anne Boleyn, cello and lute imitate a tolling bell: marvellous!

Gramophone Print

  • Print Edition

From £67/year

Subscribe

The Gramophone Digital Club

  • Digital Edition
  • Digital Archive
  • Reviews Database
  • Events & Offers

From £90/year

Subscribe

Gramophone Reviews

  • Reviews Database

From £67/year

Subscribe

Gramophone Digital Edition

  • Digital Edition
  • Digital Archive

From £67/year

Subscribe

If you are a library, university or other organisation that would be interested in an institutional subscription to Gramophone please click here for further information.