Claudia Sessa, c.1570-c. 1619

Claudia Sessa

Selected Recordings

30-second samples of “Occhi io vissi di voi” and “Vatteme pur Lascivia”

Selected Sheet Music

Occhi io vissi di voi

Sessa Occhi


Notes and Commentary

Claudia Sessa was an Italian composer born into the de Sessa family, a patrician clan of the Milanese aristocracy. A nun at the convent of Saint Maria Annunciata, she composed two sacred works published in 1613. She lived from c. 1570 to c. 1617 or 1619.—Excerpted from Wikipedia

Sessa was avidly praised by Gerolamo Borsieri for her musical talents and for her modest nature. Two of her works (for solo voice) are available today. Though it displays some technical weaknesses, Sessa’s work over the duration of her short lifetime has been described as sufficiently original and ambitious to place her on the roster of notable composers of her time.—Excerpted from Hildegard Publishing

Books and Music

Selected Books

Divas in the Convent
Univ. of Chicago Press, 2012
Craig Monson
$17.49 on Amazon


Nuns Behaving Badly
Univ. of Chicago Press, 2011
Craig Monson
$15.68 on Amazon


Selected Music

Sessa album Rosa Mistica (2000), 1 CD

Sessa album-2 I Canti Di Euterpe (1998), 1 CD

Complete Works

Occhi io vissi di voi
Vatteme pur Lascivia

Other women Baroque composers

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Camilla de Rossi: c. 1670-c. 1710


Not a biographical image

Selected Recordings

Il Figliuol Prodigo

Il Sacrifizio di Abramo 6/6

Oratorio S. Alessio

Selected Sheet Music

Il Sacrifizio di Abramo
Source: SheetMusicPlus (for purchase)

Showcase Piece

Il sacrifizio di Abramo

Notes and Commentary

Camilla de Rossi was an Italian composer of Roman citizenship. She composed four oratorios for solo voices and orchestra, all of which were commissioned by Emperor Joseph I of Austria and were performed in the Imperial Chapel in Vienna. Rossi’s surviving works demonstrate a knowledge of stringed instruments and, as Barbara Garvey Jackson describes, “a keen interest in tone color.” Her oratorios are for solo voices; none of her works use choruses. She calls for various instruments (chalumeaux, archlute, trumpets, oboe) with string orchestra (including continuo). Her oratorio, Il Sacrifizio di Abramo, suggests a knowledge of instruments, strings in particular. But the piece also calls for two chalumeaux, an instrument first heard in Vienna in 1707, one year before her oratorio was performed for the first time in 1708. Her cantata Frá Dori e Fileno is for strings and two soloists.—Excerpted from Wikipedia

Books and Music

Selected Books

Companion to Baroque Music
Oxford Univ. Press, 1998
Julie Anne Sadie (ed.)
$56.42 on Amazon


“A volume that genuinely deserves the epithet ‘indispensable.'”—

Selected Music

Rossi1 Oratorio “S. Alessio” (2002), 1 CD

Rossi2 Il Sacrifizio di Abramo (2000), 1 CD

Rossi3 Baroquen Treasures (1990), 1 CD

More Camilla de Rossi Music

Complete Works

Il sacrifizio di Abramo
Il figliuol prodigo
Frà Dori, e Fileno
Oratorios, for solo vv, orch
Santa Beatrice d’Este

Other women Baroque composers

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Anna Bon: Complete Works

Six Chamber Sonatas, for transverse flute, violoncello, or harpsichord, op. 1
Six Sonatas for Harpsichord, op. 2
Six Divertimenti, for two flutes and basso continuo, op. 3
Aria, “Astra coeli,” for soprano, 2 violins, viola, and basso continuo
Offertory, “Ardete amore,” for soprano, 2 altos, bass, 2 oboes, 2 horns, 2 violins, viola, and basso continuo
Motet, “Eia in preces et veloces,” for alto, 2 violins, viola, and basso continuo
Opera, now lost, composed during her stay at the court of Prince Esterhazy in Eisenstadt

Anna Bon Books and Music
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Gregorio Allegri: Notes and Commentary

Gregorio Allegri was an Italian composer of the Roman School and brother of Domenico Allegri, also a composer of note. As a benefice in the cathedral of Fermo, Allegri composed a large number of motets and other sacred music, which, being brought to the notice of Pope Urban VIII, obtained for him an appointment in the choir of the Sistine Chapel at Rome as a contralto. He held this from 1629 until his death.

Among Allegri’s musical compositions were two volumes of concerti for five voices published in 1618 and 1619; two volumes of motets for six voices published in 1621; an edition of a four-part sinfonia; five masses; two settings of the Lamentations of Jeremiah; and numerous motets which were not published in his lifetime. He was one of the earliest composers for stringed instruments. Most of Allegri’s published music, especially the instrumental music, is in the progressive early Baroque concertato style. However, his work for the Sistine Chapel is descended from the Palestrina style, and in some cases strips even this refined, simple style of all ornament. He is credited with the earliest string quartet.

By far the most well known and regarded piece of music composed by Allegri is the Miserere mei, Deus, a setting of Vulgate Psalm 50. It is written for two choirs, the one of five and the other of four voices, and has obtained considerable celebrity. One of the choirs sings a simple fauxbordon based on the original plainsong chant for the Tonus peregrinus; the other choir sings a similar fauxbordon with pre-existing elaborations and the use of cadenzas. The Miserere has for many years been sung annually during Holy Week in the Sistine Chapel. Many have cited this work as an example of the stile antico (old style) or prima pratica (first practice). However, its constant use of the dominant seventh chord and its emphasis on polychoral techniques certainly put it out of the range of prima pratica. A more accurate comparison would be to the works of Giovanni Gabrieli.

The Miserere is one of the most often-recorded examples of late Renaissance music, although it was actually written during the chronological confines of the Baroque era; in this regard it is representative of the music of the Roman School of composers, who were stylistically conservative. He lived from 1582 to February 17, 1652. —Excerpted from Wikipedia

Gregorio Allegri Books and Music
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