Luzzasco Luzzaschi: I’ mi son giovinetta, Sophie Junker and Sherezade Panthaki, Concerto delle Donne

In this video

The virtuoso duet from Luzzaschi’s “Concerto delle donne” book, 1601. Sophie Junker and Sherzade Panthaki, sopranos
Elisabeth Reed, viola da gamba
Hanneke van Proosdi, baroque organ
David Tayler, archlute
From Wikipedia: The concerto delle donne (the ‘ensemble of ladies’; also concerto di donne or concerto delle (or di) dame) was a group of professional female singers in the late Italian Renaissance, primarily in the court of Ferrara, Italy. Renowned for their technical and artistic virtuosity, the ensemble was founded by Alfonso II, Duke of Ferrara, in 1580 and was active until the court was dissolved in 1597. Giacomo Vincenti, a music publisher, praised the women as “virtuose giovani” (young virtuosas), echoing the sentiments of contemporaneous diarists and commentators.

The origins of the ensemble lay in an amateur group of high-placed courtiers who performed for each other within the context of the Duke’s informal musica secreta (lit. ’secret music’) in the 1570s. The ensemble evolved into an all-female group of professional musicians, the concerto delle donne, who performed formal concerts for members of the inner circle of the court and important visitors. Their signature style of florid, highly ornamented singing brought prestige to Ferrara and inspired composers of the time.
Link to the original engraving of 1601:
I mi son giovinetta (based on Boccaccio)
“I mi son giovinetta e rido e canto a la
stagion novella.”
Cantava la mia dolce pastorella,
Quando l’ali il cor mio
Spiegò come augellin subitamente,
Tutto lieto et ridente
Cantava in sua favella:
“Son giovinetto anch’io,
E rido e canto a più beata e bella
primavera d’Amore
Che ne begli occhi suoi fiorisce”, et ella:
“Fuggi se saggio sei”, disse, “l’ardore
Ch’in questi rai
Primavera per te non sara mai.
“I am young, I laugh and sing
to the new season.”
Thus sang my lovely shepherdess,
When my heart suddenly
Spread its wings like a bird,
Joyful and laughing
It sang in this way:
“I too am young,
And I laugh and sing to the more
beautiful and happy springtime of love
which blossoms in your fair eyes.” She replied:
“Flee ardour, if you are wise;
flee, for in these rays
there will never be spring for you!”
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