L’amante segreto / The Secret Lover
Love songs by Barbara Strozzi
and music for the solo theorbo by Giovanni Kapsberger
Sarah Jackson, soprano
Philip Rukavina, lute
L'AMANTE SEGRETO (the Secret Lover) combines music of two of the seventeenth century’s greatest virtuosi: Barbara Strozzi and Giovanni Kapsberger. These two master performer-composers may have come from dramatically different life circumstances, but each rose to become significant figures in the music culture of their time. Johann Hieronymus Kapsberger (1580-1651) – known to Rome as Giovanni Girolamo Kapsperger – was in much demand among Rome’s social elites due both to his family’s noble status in the court of Austria’s Imperial House and his own reputation as a virtuoso performer on the theorbo.
Barbara Strozzi (1619-1677), on the other hand, did not come from a noble background. The probably daughter of Giulio Strozzi, a wealthy poet and librettist living in Venice, she was the student of the preeminent opera composer Francesco Cavalli (1602-1676). Strozzi rose to prominence in Venice through the Accademia delgi Unisoni, a social club set up by Giulio Strozzi in Venice in 1637 for the purpose of providing the young virtuoso cantrice a place to perform.