Tenet - The Secret Lover album review: “music by, for and about women”

Wed, Mar 23, 2016, 17:30


The Secret Lover

Tenet, Giovanni Girolamo Kapsberger, Barbara Strozzi, Francesca Caccini, Diego Ortiz, Anon, Michelangeli Rossi, Sigismondo d'India, Luigi Rossi, Caroline Shaw, Domenico Mazzocchi



New York’s Tenet ensemble here celebrates “music by, for and about women” in the context of the concerto delle donne, a virtuosic female vocal trio established by Duke Alfonso II of Ferrara in 1580.

The music of Barbara Strozzi and Francesca Caccini (credited as the first woman to write an opera) here rubs shoulders with the work of their male contemporaries, with the 21st-century compositional voice of Caroline Shaw providing a link across the centuries.

Tenet’s singers – Jolle Greenleaf, Molly Quinn and Virginia Warnken – have something of the haunting, plaintive purity associated with Emma Kirkby and Trio Mediaeval, and the instrumental interludes include a vertiginously chromatic Toccata by Michelangelo Rossi.