Francesca Caccini And Her Circle

Episodes

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01Honoured By The King Of France20161212

King Henry IV invites Francesca Caccini and her family to France to perform at court.

Presented by Donald Macleod.

Francesca Caccini has been hailed as the first female composer to write an opera. However this isn't necessarily true. The work in question, La Liberazione di Ruggiero dall'isola d'Alcina, was written for the theatre and is almost entirely sung, but academics now believe that this is not an opera. What we do know is that Francesca Caccini was the daughter, sister, wife and mother of a family of singers, and was one of the most prolific composers of her time. She was employed at the Medici court in Florence in the early seventeenth century, and rose to become the highest paid musician on the Medici payroll. This week Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Francesca Caccini and her circle, such as her father Giulio Caccini, and other composers including Jacopo Peri, Lorenzo Allegri, and Marco da Gagliano.

Francesca Caccini was born in 1587. Her father Giulio was a composer and her mother a singer, both employed at the Medici court in Florence. Many pupils would come to the Caccini household to be taught by Giulio, and when he recognised his daughter's talents, he made sure Francesca was educated well. Francesca Caccini's first performance before court as a singer was in 1600, in her father's opera The Abduction of Cephalus. Giulio's music was put in the shade by another opera performed just a few days earlier, Euridice by Jacopo Peri. These celebrations at the Medici court were for the forthcoming wedding of Henry IV of France, to Marie de Medici. They evidently went well, for the Caccini family soon received an invitation to go to perform in France for the King.

Francesca Caccini

O che nuovo stupor

Elena Cecchi Fedi, soprano

Cappella di Santa Maria degli Angiolini

Gianluca Lastraioli, theorbo and conductor

Jacopo Peri

L'Euridice (Scene II)

Gian Paolo Fagotto, tenor (Orfeo)

Mario Cecchetti, tenor (Aminta)

Giuseppe Zambon, countertenor (Arcetro)

Monica Benvenuti, soprano (Ninfa I)

Rossana Bertini, soprano (Ninfa II)

Paolo Da Col, tenor (Tirsi)

Ensemble Arpeggio

Roberto de Caro, director

Dov'io credea le mie speranze vere

Shannon Mercer, soprano

Sylvain Bergeron, guitar

Io veggio i campi verdeggiar fecondi

Amanda Keesmaat, cello

O vive rose

Luc Beauséjour, harpsichord

Giulio Caccini

L'Euridice (Scene V and VI)

Silvia Frigato, sopeano (Euridice)

Sara Mingardo, also (Dafne)

Gian Paolo Fagotto, tenor (Arcetro)

Luca Dordolo, tenor (Aminta)

Furio Zanasi, baritone (Orfeo)

Monica Piccini, soprano (Nymph)

Anna Simboli,soprano (Nymph)

Raffaele Giordani, tenor (Shepherd)

Marco Scavazza, baritone (Shepherd)

Mauro Borgioni, baritone (Shepherd)

Matteo Bellotto, bass (Shepherd)

Concerto Italiano

Rinaldo Alessandrini, conductor

Se muove a giurar fede

Producer Luke Whitlock.

King Henry IV invites Francesca Caccini and her family to France to perform at court, presented by Donald Macleod.

Focusing on King Henry IV's inviting Caccini and her family to France to perform at court.

02Employed By The Grand Duchess20161213

Francesca Caccini receives her first appointment at the Medici Court, presented by Donald Macleod.

Francesca Caccini has been hailed as the first female composer to write an opera. However this isn't necessarily true. The work in question, La Liberazione di Ruggiero dall'isola d'Alcina, was written for the theatre and is almost entirely sung, but academics now believe that this is not an opera. What we do know is that Francesca Caccini was the daughter, sister, wife and mother of a family of singers, and was one of the most prolific composers of her time. She was employed at the Medici court in Florence in the early seventeenth century, and rose to become the highest paid musician on the Medici payroll. This week Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Francesca Caccini and her circle, such as her father Giulio Caccini, and other composers including Jacopo Peri, Lorenzo Allegri, and Marco da Gagliano.

Francesca Caccini and her family were well received at the French court and King Henry IV declared that Francesca was the best singer in all of France. An offer was made to Giulio Caccini for Francesca and her sister to remain in France, but their father was keen that the entire family should return to Florence. Once back in Italy Giulio wasted no time in promoting the family's success in France, in order to secure Francesca's future. By 1607 she received her first official appointment as a musician to the Medici court which was then largely controlled by the Grand Duchess, Christine de Lorraine. Upon Francesca's appointment, the Grand Duchess arranged a marriage for her new employee to a singer called Giovanni Battista Signorini. Caccini's contract to the Medici gave her many responsibilities, including performing as a singer and as an instrumentalist both at court and for church services, composing new music and preparing it for performances, as well as teaching music to some of the Medici children.

Lasciatemi qui solo

Flavio Ferri-Benedetti, countertenor

Il Profondo

Ciaccona, arr. Luigi Cozzolino

Cappella di Santa Maria degli Angiolini

Gianluca Lastraioli, theorbo and conductor

Romanesca, arr. Luigi Cozzolino

Io mi distruggo and ardo

Olga Pitarch, soprano

Marco Horvat, tenor and theorbo

Su le piume de'venti trionfator

Shannon Mercer, soprano

Amanda Keesmaat, cello

Luc Beauséjour, organ

Lorenzo Allegri

La notte d'Amore

Gran Consort Li Stromenti

Gianluca Lastraioli, conductor

Francesca Caccini

La pastorella

Sylvain Bergeron, guitar

Luc Beauséjour, harpsichord

Le Ninfe di Senna

Non sò se quel sorriso

Producer Luke Whitlock.

Donald Macleod on Francesca Caccini's receiving her first appointment at the Medici court.

03Caccini Goes Into Print20161214

Francesca Caccini publishes her first and only collection of music, presented by Donald Macleod.

Francesca Caccini has been hailed as the first female composer to write an opera. However this isn't necessarily true. The work in question, La Liberazione di Ruggiero dall'isola d'Alcina, was written for the theatre and is almost entirely sung, but academics now believe that this is not an opera. What we do know is that Francesca Caccini was the daughter, sister, wife and mother of a family of singers, and was one of the most prolific composers of her time. She was employed at the Medici court in Florence in the early seventeenth century, and rose to become the highest paid musician on the Medici payroll. This week Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Francesca Caccini and her circle, such as her father Giulio Caccini, and other composers including Jacopo Peri, Lorenzo Allegri, and Marco da Gagliano.

In 1612 Francesca Caccini's fame as a musician was spreading far and wide, and requests were made to the Medici court to borrow her for short periods. These requests were denied and, in a bid to retain Caccini's services in Florence, the Medici raised her salary making her the highest paid musician at the Florentine court. By 1614 investment was made locally in developing printing opportunities, and composers soon rushed to bring out their works in print including Francesca's father Giulio, and also Marco da Gagliano. A few years later in 1618, Francesca Caccini brought out her own collection of music in print. She intended this to be the first of many, but her Medici employers forbade her to publish again. Caccini was contracted as a musician, a servant, and she was to do as she was told.

Giulio Caccini

Non ha'l ciel

Montserrat Figueras, soprano

Hopkinson Smith, guitar

Robert Clancy, guitar

Jordi Savall, viola da gamba

Xenia Schindler, harp

Marco da Gagliano

Duo Seraphim clamabant

Ensemble Jacques Moderne

Joël Suhubiette, director

Francesca Caccini

Io veggio i campi

Cappella di Santa Maria degli Angiolini

Gianluca Lastraioli, theorbo and conductor

Chi desia di saper

Ave Maria

Ensemble Jacqves Moderne

Rendi alle mie speranze il verde

Shannon Mercer, soprano

Luc Beauséjour, organ

Maria, dolce Maria

Amanda Keesmaat, cello

Regina caeli

Dispiegate, guance amate

Tenet

O vive rose

La Dafne (Scene 5 and 6)

Barbara Schlick, soprano (Nymph 1)

Ian Partridge, tenor (Tirsi)

Nigel Rogers, tenor (Apollo)

David Thomas, bass (Shepherd 1)

Berthold Possemeyer, baritone (Shepherd 2)

Monteverdi Choir Hamburg

Camerata Accademica Hamburg

Jürgen Jürgens, director

Producer Luke Whitlock.

Donald Macleod focuses on Caccini's publishing her first and only collection of music.

03Caccini Goes Into Print20161214

Francesca Caccini publishes her first and only collection of music, presented by Donald Macleod.

Francesca Caccini has been hailed as the first female composer to write an opera. However this isn't necessarily true. The work in question, La Liberazione di Ruggiero dall'isola d'Alcina, was written for the theatre and is almost entirely sung, but academics now believe that this is not an opera. What we do know is that Francesca Caccini was the daughter, sister, wife and mother of a family of singers, and was one of the most prolific composers of her time. She was employed at the Medici court in Florence in the early seventeenth century, and rose to become the highest paid musician on the Medici payroll. This week Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Francesca Caccini and her circle, such as her father Giulio Caccini, and other composers including Jacopo Peri, Lorenzo Allegri, and Marco da Gagliano.

In 1612 Francesca Caccini's fame as a musician was spreading far and wide, and requests were made to the Medici court to borrow her for short periods. These requests were denied and, in a bid to retain Caccini's services in Florence, the Medici raised her salary making her the highest paid musician at the Florentine court. By 1614 investment was made locally in developing printing opportunities, and composers soon rushed to bring out their works in print including Francesca's father Giulio, and also Marco da Gagliano. A few years later in 1618, Francesca Caccini brought out her own collection of music in print. She intended this to be the first of many, but her Medici employers forbade her to publish again. Caccini was contracted as a musician, a servant, and she was to do as she was told.

Giulio Caccini

Non ha'l ciel

Montserrat Figueras, soprano

Hopkinson Smith, guitar

Robert Clancy, guitar

Jordi Savall, viola da gamba

Xenia Schindler, harp

Marco da Gagliano

Duo Seraphim clamabant

Ensemble Jacques Moderne

Joël Suhubiette, director

Francesca Caccini

Io veggio i campi

Cappella di Santa Maria degli Angiolini

Gianluca Lastraioli, theorbo and conductor

Chi desia di saper

Ave Maria

Ensemble Jacqves Moderne

Rendi alle mie speranze il verde

Shannon Mercer, soprano

Luc Beauséjour, organ

Maria, dolce Maria

Amanda Keesmaat, cello

Regina caeli

Dispiegate, guance amate

Tenet

O vive rose

La Dafne (Scene 5 and 6)

Barbara Schlick, soprano (Nymph 1)

Ian Partridge, tenor (Tirsi)

Nigel Rogers, tenor (Apollo)

David Thomas, bass (Shepherd 1)

Berthold Possemeyer, baritone (Shepherd 2)

Monteverdi Choir Hamburg

Camerata Accademica Hamburg

Jürgen Jürgens, director

Producer Luke Whitlock.

Donald Macleod focuses on Caccini's publishing her first and only collection of music.

04Music As Propaganda20161215

Francesca Caccini's music is used as a political weapon by the Medici, presented by Donald Macleod.

Francesca Caccini has been hailed as the first female composer to write an opera. However this isn't necessarily true. The work in question, La Liberazione di Ruggiero dall'isola d'Alcina, was written for the theatre and is almost entirely sung, but academics now believe that this is not an opera. What we do know is that Francesca Caccini was the daughter, sister, wife and mother of a family of singers, and was one of the most prolific composers of her time. She was employed at the Medici court in Florence in the early seventeenth century, and rose to become the highest paid musician on the Medici payroll. This week Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Francesca Caccini and her circle, such as her father Giulio Caccini, and other composers including Jacopo Peri, Lorenzo Allegri, and Marco da Gagliano.

Francesca Caccini's court obligations in Florence were highly demanding. By 1619 she was writing to the court officials complaining that her recent workload had been very great with teaching, performing and composing. Not only was she busy working, but in 1622 Caccini also became a mother. Just a few years later Caccini would receive a commission to write a stage work, La Liberazione di Ruggiero dall'isola d'Alcina, that would immortalise her in the future as the first women to compose an opera. Although the work may not be an opera, it was a work of sheer spectacle and was intended to demonstrate the power of the Medici women at that time. This stage work became very popular in its day, and was even translated into Polish.

Fresche aurette

Shannon Mercer, soprano

Sylvain Bergeron, theorbo

Amanda Keesmaat, cello

Luc Beauséjour, organ

Dov' io credea

Ingrid Matthews, baroque violin

Byron Schenkman, harpsichord

Nube gentil

Josh Lee, viola da gamba

Jeffrey Grossman, harpsichord

Marco da Gagliano

Venite gentes

Ensemble Jacques Moderne

Joël Suhubiette, director

Quem vidistis pastores

O quam pulchra es

Jacopo Peri

Lameno di Iole

Montserrat Figueras, soprano

Hespèrion XXI

Jordi Savall, director

La Flora (Valli profonde)

Nigel Rogers, tenor

Colin Tilney, organ

Anthony Bailes, chitarrone

Jordi Savall, viola da gamba

Pere Ros, violin

Francesca Caccini

La Liberazione di Ruggiero dall'isola d'Alcina (Per la piùvaga e bella)

Heike Pichler-Trosits, soprano

La Villanella Basel

Lasciatemi qui solo

Te lucis ante terminum

O che nuovo stupor

Max van Egmond, bass

Ricercar Consort

Producer Luke Whitlock.

Donald Macleod on how Caccini's music was used as a political weapon by the Medici.

04Music As Propaganda20161215

Francesca Caccini's music is used as a political weapon by the Medici, presented by Donald Macleod.

Francesca Caccini has been hailed as the first female composer to write an opera. However this isn't necessarily true. The work in question, La Liberazione di Ruggiero dall'isola d'Alcina, was written for the theatre and is almost entirely sung, but academics now believe that this is not an opera. What we do know is that Francesca Caccini was the daughter, sister, wife and mother of a family of singers, and was one of the most prolific composers of her time. She was employed at the Medici court in Florence in the early seventeenth century, and rose to become the highest paid musician on the Medici payroll. This week Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Francesca Caccini and her circle, such as her father Giulio Caccini, and other composers including Jacopo Peri, Lorenzo Allegri, and Marco da Gagliano.

Francesca Caccini's court obligations in Florence were highly demanding. By 1619 she was writing to the court officials complaining that her recent workload had been very great with teaching, performing and composing. Not only was she busy working, but in 1622 Caccini also became a mother. Just a few years later Caccini would receive a commission to write a stage work, La Liberazione di Ruggiero dall'isola d'Alcina, that would immortalise her in the future as the first women to compose an opera. Although the work may not be an opera, it was a work of sheer spectacle and was intended to demonstrate the power of the Medici women at that time. This stage work became very popular in its day, and was even translated into Polish.

Fresche aurette

Shannon Mercer, soprano

Sylvain Bergeron, theorbo

Amanda Keesmaat, cello

Luc Beauséjour, organ

Dov' io credea

Ingrid Matthews, baroque violin

Byron Schenkman, harpsichord

Nube gentil

Josh Lee, viola da gamba

Jeffrey Grossman, harpsichord

Marco da Gagliano

Venite gentes

Ensemble Jacques Moderne

Joël Suhubiette, director

Quem vidistis pastores

O quam pulchra es

Jacopo Peri

Lameno di Iole

Montserrat Figueras, soprano

Hespèrion XXI

Jordi Savall, director

La Flora (Valli profonde)

Nigel Rogers, tenor

Colin Tilney, organ

Anthony Bailes, chitarrone

Jordi Savall, viola da gamba

Pere Ros, violin

Francesca Caccini

La Liberazione di Ruggiero dall'isola d'Alcina (Per la piùvaga e bella)

Heike Pichler-Trosits, soprano

La Villanella Basel

Lasciatemi qui solo

Te lucis ante terminum

O che nuovo stupor

Max van Egmond, bass

Ricercar Consort

Producer Luke Whitlock.

Donald Macleod on how Caccini's music was used as a political weapon by the Medici.

05A Lifetime Of Service20161216

Francesca Caccini is denied her freedom by the Grand Duchess Christine de Lorraine, presented by Donald Macleod.

Francesca Caccini has been hailed as the first female composer to write an opera. However this isn't necessarily true. The work in question, La Liberazione di Ruggiero dall'isola d'Alcina, was written for the theatre and is almost entirely sung, but academics now believe that this is not an opera. What we do know is that Francesca Caccini was the daughter, sister, wife and mother of a family of singers, and was one of the most prolific composers of her time. She was employed at the Medici court in Florence in the early seventeenth century, and rose to become the highest paid musician on the Medici payroll. This week Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Francesca Caccini and her circle, such as her father Giulio Caccini, and other composers including Jacopo Peri, Lorenzo Allegri, and Marco da Gagliano.

Francesca Caccini's first husband died in 1626, which left her future and the future of her daughter in a precarious state. She decided to marry again, and this time to a man of property, Tommaso Rafaelli, a minor nobleman of Lucca. Although there was a further child, this time a son, the marriage only lasted a short time as her second husband died in 1630. Francesca Caccini was now a women of some property, and she lobbied the Medici court to relinquish any rights of custody to her daughter Margherita. As Francesca was employed by the Medici when her daughter was born, with the death of Caccini's second husband, the supervision of Margherita reverted to the Medici court. Caccini's appeal was accepted. She and her family soon returned to Florence to work for the ailing Grand Duchess Christine de Lorraine. However, Francesca's second petition to the Grand Duchess to be made a lady of the court, was refused. Caccini remained a servant until her death.

Dispiegate guance amate

Raffaele Pe, countertenor

Chiara Granata, triple harp

David Miller, theorbo

Ch'Amor sia nudo

Elena Cecchi Fedi, soprano

Cappella di Santa Maria degli Angiolini

Gian Luca Lastraioli, theorbo and conductor

Che t'ho fatt'io

Non so se quell sorriso

Jesu corona virginum

Marilena Zlatanou, mezzo

Lars Henrik Johansen, organ

Maria, dolce Maria

Regula Konrad, soprano

Il Desiderio

O chiome belle

Shannon Mercer, soprano

Sylvain Bergeron, guitar

Amanda Keesmaat, cello

Io mi distruggo

Sylvain Bergeron, guitar and theorbo

Luc Beauséjour, harpsichord

S'io m'en vò

Luc Beauséjour, organ

Marco da Gagliano

O admirabile commercium

Ensemble Jacques Moderne

Joël Suhubiette, director

Vere languores

Francesca Caccini

La Liberazione di Ruggiero dall'isola d'Alcina (excerpts)

The Toronto Consort

Producer Luke Whitlock.

Focusing on Caccini's being denied her freedom by the Grand Duchess Christine de Lorraine.

Francesca Caccini is denied her freedom by the Grand Duchess Christine de Lorraine, presented by Donald Macleod.

Francesca Caccini has been hailed as the first female composer to write an opera. However this isn't necessarily true. The work in question, La Liberazione di Ruggiero dall'isola d'Alcina, was written for the theatre and is almost entirely sung, but academics now believe that this is not an opera. What we do know is that Francesca Caccini was the daughter, sister, wife and mother of a family of singers, and was one of the most prolific composers of her time. She was employed at the Medici court in Florence in the early seventeenth century, and rose to become the highest paid musician on the Medici payroll. This week Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Francesca Caccini and her circle, such as her father Giulio Caccini, and other composers including Jacopo Peri, Lorenzo Allegri, and Marco da Gagliano.

Francesca Caccini's first husband died in 1626, which left her future and the future of her daughter in a precarious state. She decided to marry again, and this time to a man of property, Tommaso Rafaelli, a minor nobleman of Lucca. Although there was a further child, this time a son, the marriage only lasted a short time as her second husband died in 1630. Francesca Caccini was now a women of some property, and she lobbied the Medici court to relinquish any rights of custody to her daughter Margherita. As Francesca was employed by the Medici when her daughter was born, with the death of Caccini's second husband, the supervision of Margherita reverted to the Medici court. Caccini's appeal was accepted. She and her family soon returned to Florence to work for the ailing Grand Duchess Christine de Lorraine. However, Francesca's second petition to the Grand Duchess to be made a lady of the court, was refused. Caccini remained a servant until her death.

Dispiegate guance amate

Raffaele Pe, countertenor

Chiara Granata, triple harp

David Miller, theorbo

Ch'Amor sia nudo

Elena Cecchi Fedi, soprano

Cappella di Santa Maria degli Angiolini

Gian Luca Lastraioli, theorbo and conductor

Che t'ho fatt'io

Non so se quell sorriso

Jesu corona virginum

Marilena Zlatanou, mezzo

Lars Henrik Johansen, organ

Maria, dolce Maria

Regula Konrad, soprano

Il Desiderio

O chiome belle

Shannon Mercer, soprano

Sylvain Bergeron, guitar

Amanda Keesmaat, cello

Io mi distruggo

Sylvain Bergeron, guitar and theorbo

Luc Beauséjour, harpsichord

S'io m'en vò

Luc Beauséjour, organ

Marco da Gagliano

O admirabile commercium

Ensemble Jacques Moderne

Joël Suhubiette, director

Vere languores

Francesca Caccini

La Liberazione di Ruggiero dall'isola d'Alcina (excerpts)

The Toronto Consort

Producer Luke Whitlock.

Focusing on Caccini's being denied her freedom by the Grand Duchess Christine de Lorraine.