The Boston-based ensemble La Donna Musicale has a singular mission to research, perform, and record the music of women composers. Directed by Laury Gutierrez, one of the ensemble’s more significant projects is a recording of music by 18th-century composer Anna Bon, who was trained at the Venetian Ospedale della Pietà and then worked at the court of the Margrave of Brandenburg-Bayreuth and for Prince Nicholas Esterhazy.
Anna Bon did not write a large amount of music in comparison to other composers of the period, but from what she did leave us, the music is of a high standard—especially her vocal compositions.
Since 2005, one of Europe’s finest chamber music venues has been publishing live recordings from its concert season. London’s Wigmore Hall has released over thirty-five recordings of pianists, string quartets, and singers in recital. Among these is a performance by acclaimed soprano Carolyn Sampson and lutenist Matthew Wadsworth who gave a recital entitled “Not just Dowland,” featuring songs by John Dowland and several of his English and Italian contemporaries.
Our featured release is a recording of music by Renaissance composer John Sheppard, who was a lesser-known contemporary of Thomas Tallis, both of whom wrote moving and dramatic music for the Catholic and Anglican liturgies.
The critically-acclaimed vocal ensemble Stile Antico devotes the entire Harmonia Mundi CD to Sheppard’s liturgical music, which includes the powerful motet “Gaude, gaude, gaude Maria.”