An Enlightened Heart
The acclaimed musicians of ensemble Galliarda specialise in the performance of instrumental and vocal chamber music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
The eighteenth century saw a gradual transformation in the status of women as performers and composers. While professional singers were well established in the seventeenth century, their appearance on the stage and in public still rendered them, like "actresses", susceptible to accusations of having "low morals" and available to the whims of rich adventurers.
Music was one of the few professions in which women could reasonably expect to play a significant money-earning role, especially if they were born into a musical family where musical skills could be passed down; indeed, children of either sex that showed early promise were quickly exploited as novelty performers. In the Baroque and early Classical period amateur women performers were the norm, far outstripping the men, though their performance sphere was normally reserved to that of the home and family. Professional female performers giving public concerts of their own music was a risky business and could provoke angry reactions from husbands and fathers who might feel that male honour and status was being endangered.
The album presents songs and sonatas by Elisabetta Gamberini (1731-65), Anna Amalia von Preussen (1723-87), Ana Bon (1730-67) and Marie Antoinette (1755-1793).
This project was supported by a grant from Continuo Foundation.
Find out more about An Enlightened Heart and buy a copy at Tremula Records.
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