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Lucrezia Orsina Vizzana

July 3, 1590 - May 7, 1662
born in Bologna, Italy, composed during the Baroque period
Lucrezia Orsina Vizzana was a nun at the convent of St. Christina in Bologna. Vizzana probably entered the convent at the age of eight and lived there the rest of her life. While there are several printed collections from around 1600 that are dedicated to use in Bolognese convents, Vizzana's 1623 publication Componimenti musicali de motetti concertati a 1 e più voci is the only one that is composed by a nun. It consists of ten solo motets, eight duets, and two additional motets written for three and four voices, respectively. The Componimenti musicali is highly unusual in style and demonstrates awareness of the most modern tendencies in Italian music of the day through its Monteverdian use of chromaticism, wide leaps in the voice parts, and other features that serve to distinguish this collection from other very late Renaissance sacred music. St. Christina was the scene of much internal strife between Bolognese bishops and the independent-minded, sometimes openly rebellious nuns who were residents there. Things came to a head when the church laid siege to the convent in November 1628. Vizzana survived this catastrophe, though not with much, as toward the end of her life she was declared insane. The 20 pieces in the Componimenti musicali are the only musical works by Vizzana known to exist. ~ Uncle Dave Lewis , Rovi
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