Program: The Music of Chiara Margarita Cozzolani

"Warren Stewart and his early music group Magnificat continued their revelatory exploration of the works of the 17th century nun Chiara Margarita Cozzolani…the melodic freshness and formal ingenuity of Cozzolani's writing, in the motets above all, never ceased to amaze, and the performances underscored every bit of the music's grace and vitality." San Francisco Chronicle Review of Magnificat's performance of Cozzolani's Messa a 4.

Magnificat's recordings performances of the music of Chiara Margarita Cozzolani have established this remarkable Benedictine nun as one of the finest composers of the Baroque, or any period. Magnificat offers two programs of her music - one based on her music for Vespers and another featuring her setting of the Mass ordinary. Either program can be adapted to any season of the year and range in size from eight to twelve musicians.

Listen to Magnificat perform Cozzolani's setting of the psalm Dixit Dominus from the Vespers program live at the University of Notre Dame in April, 2007:

Cozzolani - Dixit Dominus at Notre Dame

 

It was common in 17th Century Italy for some of the chanted texts in the liturgy - the propers in Mass, the repeat of antiphons in Vespers - to be replaced with vocal or instrumental works.Magnificat uses this opportunity to explore Cozzolani's mor e intimate motets. Each program includes several of these works for 1-4 voices with continuo.

Listen to Magnificat perform Cozzolani's motet Ave mater dillectissima live at the University of Notre Dame in April, 2007:

Cozzolani - Ave mater dillectissima at Notre Dame

 

Each program also features traditional Gregorian chant.  Against the background of ancient Gregorian chant, Cozzolani's spectacular polyphony is set in relief at the same time that its fundamental purpose as an agent of meditation and devotion is emphasized.

Listen to Magnificat perform the Easter Introit, from the recording Messa Paschale:

Introitus: Resurrexi

free music download from Magnificat

free music download from Magnificat

free music download from Magnificat

 

Download an Example Vespers Program (PDF)

Download an Example Mass Program (PDF)