Give Now  »

wfiu logo
WFIU Public Radio

wtiu logo
WTIU Public Television

Choose which station to support!

Indiana Public Media | WFIU - NPR | WTIU - PBS

Noon Edition

Les Filles de Sainte Colombe

One of Les Filles de Sainte Colombe's album covers.

This hour on Harmonia, Angela Mariani is exploring the history and music of the all-female viol ensemble Les Filles de Sainte Colombe, with founding member and sometime Harmonia host Wendy Gillespie. Our featured release is the 1982 recording Battaglie e Lamenti: Schlacht und Klage, Hespèrion XX’s only recording for the Archiv label.


We heard a “canzon in echo” by the early Venetian Baroque composer Bastian Chilese, performed by Hespèrion XX, from the 1982 recording Battaglie e Lamenti: Schlacht und Klage. The “echo-canzona,” a special variety of purely instrumental polychoral music, proved to be particularly popular in Venice, the ancestral home of the “cori spezzati” - a term that refers to groups of vocalists and instrumentalists, physically separated from each other, playing in alteration.


 Angela Mariani interviews Wendy Gillespie

This hour on Harmonia, Angela Mariani is speaking with sometime Harmonia host Wendy Gillespie, about her work with the viol ensemble Les Filles de Sainte Colombe. Wendy is a long-time titan of the international viola da gamba scene. She serves as Professor of Music in the Historical Performance Institute at the Jacobs School of Music, in Bloomington, Indiana, and was a founding member of the viol consorts Fretwork and Phantasm. In addition to her work with those two groups, she was a founding member of another viol ensemble - the all-female group Les Filles de Sainte Colombe.

Let’s hear some music from a recording by Les Filles de Sainte Colombe - a sonata by the Dutch composer Johannes Schenck.

We heard a sonata by the Dutch composer Johannes Schenck, performed by the all-female viol ensemble Les Filles de Sainte Colombe.

Welcome back. Let’s hear another track from Les Filles de Sainte Colombe, a suite by the German composer Samuel Scheidt.

We heard a suite by the German composer Samuel Scheidt, performed by the all-female viol ensemble Les Filles de Sainte Colombe.


Battaglie e Lamenti

Our featured release is the recently remastered version of the seminal recording Battaglie e Lamenti: Schlacht und Klage. That recording is the only one Hespèrion XX made for the Archiv label. It was originally released on LP in 1982, and Archiv has recently made the complete recording available on CD for the first time ever.

The Italian Baroque composer Barbara Strozzi was born in 1619 in Venice, most likely the illegitimate daughter of the poet Giulio Strozzi, who recognized Barbara as his “adopted daughter.” Giulio seems to have encouraged the young Barbara’s musical talents from a very early age, arranging for her to study with composer Francesco Cavalli, and even creating a special academy, in which her singing and compositions could be heard publicly. She flourished under this treatment, and, by the middle of the 17th century, became one of the most prolific composers in Venice, and ultimately, one of the only female composers of the Baroque era to see her compositions published during her lifetime.

We heard a “cantate, ariette, e duetti,” by the Italian Baroque composer Barbara Strozzi, one of the only female Baroque composers to see her music published during her lifetime. It was performed by the soprano Montserrat Figueras, with members of the ensemble Hespèrion XX.


Break and theme music

:30, Attilio Ariosti: The Stockholm Sonatas, Vol. III, Emma Kirkby, Thomas Georgi, Lucas Harris, and Mime Yamahiro Brinkmann, BIS 2009, Tr. 19 Viola d’amore Sonata No. 19 in A Minor: IV. Rondeaux

:60, Telemann, Graupner, Vivaldi: Concerti d’amore, Bell’Arte Salzburg, Berlin Classics 2010, Tr. 2 Concerto in E Major, TWV 53:E1: II. Allegro 

:30, J. S. Bach / Cantatas BWV 22, 23, 127, 159, Philippe Herreweghe and Collegium Vocale Gent, harmonia mundi 2009, Tr. 9 Chorale: Christe, du Lamm Gottes

Theme: Danse Royale, Ensemble Alcatraz, Elektra Nonesuch 79240-2 1992 B000005J0B, Tr. 12 La Prime Estampie Royal

The writer for this edition of Harmonia was Elizabeth Clark.

Learn more about recent early music CDs on the Harmonia Early Music Podcast. You can subscribe on iTunes or at http://www.harmoniaearlymusic.org.

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About Harmonia Early Music