Renaissance Madrigals for Brass Ensembles Vol. 1
I. I Kissed with Expectation
II. Now with the Dawn the Sun Wakes
III. I Love You, My Life
IV. Thus I sigh and Lament / Behold, Again a New Sorrow Comes!
V. I Love You My Life
The identities of Raphaela (Raffaella) Aleotta and Vittoria Aleotti are not fully documented. They may have been sisters, but it is not determined who was the elder, or even if Vittoria took the name of Raphaela when she entered the convent of San Vito.
Vittoria was a musical prodigy and was placed in the convent San Vito to further her musical studies when she was seven years old. She decided to remain in the convent, and perhaps changed her name to Raphaela when she took her holy vows. Raphaela stayed at the convent for forty-nine years from 1591-1640. In 1593 Raphaela published Sacrae cantiones, and wrote the dedication herself, the first sacred music by a woman to appear in print.
Ghirlanda de madrigali by Vittoria Aleotti contains eighteen four-voice madrigals for soprano (canto), alto, tenor, and bass. The madrigals are short, imitative, alternating with chordal sections, and with the expected meter changes from duple to triple. Duets and trios are common in the musical fabric. Dissonance is carefully placed both in the melody as well as in the chords. Renaissance Madrigals for Brass Ensembles Vol. 1, includes Baciai per aver vita (I Kissed with Expectation), Hor che la vaga Aurora (Now with the Dawn the Sun Wakes), Io v’amo vita mia (I Love You My Life), and T’amo mia vita, la mia cara vita (I Love You My Life, My Dearest Life), and are examples of her secular, madrigal style. Also included in Vol. 1 is a sacred motet, Se je souspire/Ecce Iterum (Thus I Sigh and Lament / Behold, again a New Sorrow Comes!) by Margaret of Austria (1480-1530), written on the death of her brother, Philip the Handsome.
Renaissance Motets for Brass Ensembles, Vol. 2, contains Exurgat Deus (Let God Arise and Scatter His Enemies), a five-voice motet from Psalm 67. Imitative texture predominates with overlapping cadences. Her melodies are particularly well-constructed and singable. Motets were usually performed by trained singers, and the range of these motets is extended with the soprano going higher than the usual tessitura, while the alto and bass sing lower than the usual range. Also included are the motets Angelus ad pastores ait (Gabriel Said unto the Shepherds), Ascendens Christus in altum (Christ has Ascended to Heaven), and Facta est cum angelo (With the Angel Suddenly).