Friday, 8 March 2019

WOMEN IN MUSIC: (RE)INTRODUCING MADDALENA LOMBARDINI - SINGER, COMPOSER, VIRTUOSO VIOLINIST, MOVER & SHAKER OF THE CLASSICAL ERA

Bust of Terpsikhore, Greek goddess of choral song and dance



(RE)INTRODUCING MADDALENA LAURA LOMBARDINI (*teaser post only - I remain on a brief hiatus. Full length articles will return shortly)

MADDALENA LAURA LOMBARDINI
Who she was: a Venetian-born noble who studied at one of the four Ospedali Grandi which trained orphaned girls in music. Regarded as a child prodigy in both singing and on the violin.

When she thrived: mid-late 18th century.

Claim to fame: violin concerti – including a double violin concerto co-written in 1768 with her famous husband, the renowned violinist Ludovico Sirmen. Lombardini did not ride on her partners' coattails, however. Three years following the much admired premiere of the couple's concerto, Lombardini debuted her critically acclaimed  "Concerto on the Violin." It was a performance that would solidify her new status as both a virutosic performer and formidable composer in her own right. She also occasionally performed as a singer.

Admired by: many established violinists and composers, including Quirino Gasparini. Most notably Giuseppe Tartini, who wrote, especially for Lombardini, an epistolary lesson on violin playing. That letter, vouching support and a personal relationship with one of the leading violinists of the era, only added to Lombardini's credit as a top performer and virtuoso. It would be widely published and disseminated (in multiple translations) throughout Europe in the mid-late 18th century.

Why you should listen to her: if you enjoy music from the classical era, in addition to virtuosity. In appreciation of the historical aspect of an independently successful female composer, famous in her own right, one who enjoyed the distinction of touring Europe as a performing composer – a rare privilege for her sex in her era.

Author's choice: Violin Concerto no. V in B Flat major


-Rose.

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