|Francesca Caccini||Maria, dolce Maria|
|Isabella Leonarda||Sonata duodecima, Op. 16|
|Élisabeth-Claude Jacquet de La Guerre||Violin Sonata No. 2 in D, Les Sommeil d’Ulisse|
|+ more works by Caccini, Handel and de la Guerre|
Sweetness collides with strength in this programme featuring vocal and instrumental music of the Italian Renaissance and French Baroque. Both Francesca Caccini and Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre enjoyed long careers as professional composers, in the Florentine Medici court and Versailles respectively. Caccini’s exceptional gifts as a singer and composer were such that the King of France tried, unsuccessfully, to poach her; Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre rose under the reign of Madame de Montespan, one of Louis XIV’s most culturally influential mistresses. Gramophone’s 2018 Artist of the Year, Rachel Podger, is joined by mezzo Ciara Hendrick for this alluring sequence; songs depict floral scents and gentle caresses, but we are thrust into violent storms sent by Neptune in Jacquet de la Guerre’s cantata Le Sommeil d’Ulisse. Instrumental dances, including Caccini’s Romanesca and Ciaccona, leave us twirling in hypnotic delight.