This recording celebrates medieval women as performers, subjects and composers. There are chants, motets, canciones and conducti of love, both spiritual and temporal, honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary, extolling the virtues of sainted and royal women, and illuminating the everyday lives of cloistered as well as secular women. Of the saints, Mary the Virgin was, of course, the most frequently honored. However, several female saints and martyrs were extolled and revered in medieval poetry and music; Saint Catherine (and her fiery wheel), Saint Ursula (with her 11,000 virgin martyrs), Saint Agnes (the Roman, child martyr), and Saint Margaret (swallowed by Satan in the form of a dragon). Released in association with The Metropolitan Museum of Art to coincide with its Treasures of a Lost Art exhibit, this albums feature a dozen women artists directed by Frederick Renz, representing the female face of medieval music in the ecstatic, secular and spiritual works of the time.
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