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Chiara Cozzolani's Vespers | Guildford Chamber Choir

Saturday March 2, 2024 at 19:00
Holy Trinity Church, Guildford
£18, £16, £5
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Tickets "at the door" - until sold out
  1. Vespers - Chiara Margarita Cozzolani

Given how little we know of music composed by women before the 20th century, it might seem surprising that performances of the works of an 17th century nun should have drawn huge crowds at the convent of Santa Radegonda in Milan. This was, however, the case with Chiara Margarita Cozzolani, one of the most original composers of the early Italian Baroque, whose music deserves to stand alongside her more illustrious male counterparts, Monteverdi, Carissimi and Cavalli.

Born into a wealthy Milanese family in 1602, Chiara entered the convent at the age of 17, following in the footsteps of two aunts and an older sister. Little is known of her musical education, however one commentator described the nuns as possessing “rare and exquisite talents in music” and thought to be the “best singers in Italy”.

Cozzolani’s Vespers of 1650 contain dramatic choruses, often characterised by thrilling dance like rhythms and changes of meter, not unlike Monteverdi’s own Vespers, including settings of Dixit Dominus and the Magnificat.

These will be interspersed by virtuosic solo movements, sung by sopranos Daisy Livesey and Ailsa Campbell, mezzo-soprano Helena Cooke, tenor Sam Kibble and bass Tom Lowen.

The choir will be accompanied by cello, theorbo and chamber organ in the wonderful acoustic of Holy Trinity Church, Guildford.

Holy Trinity Church
High Street

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