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Born in Rome around 1610, Francesca Campana evidently benefitted from an education accorded to very few women of her time. Little of her background is known, but her talent and opportunity combined to cultivate gifts as a singer, keyboard-player and composer. The collection of arias recorded here was published in 1629. It enjoys the notable status of the very first published collection of music solely dedicated to a female composer. Francesca dedicated it to the Mantovan nobleman Luigi Gonzaga, and it was followed the following year by a book of madrigals; after which time she almost falls from the historical record save in her marriage to Giovan Carlo Rossi, brother of the opera composer Luigi Rossi. However, the collection's 15 arias are well worth investigation on account of their musical as well as their historical significance. Francesca's style is inclined to dissonance in drawing out the expressive potential of her texts, though not to the extreme degree of Gesualdo or Marenzio. Her imaginative command of form lends great variety to the collection, as it seems to conduct an artfully constructed debate between the values of prima prattica polyphony and seconda prattica motet style; between vertical and horizontal musics, and the age-debate between the primacy of text and music. This first complete recording of Francesca's collection is undertaken by the Rome-based early music group Ricercare Antico under the direction of it's founder-leader and lutenist, Francesco Tomasi. Their previous Brilliant Classics album of arias by Caccini (95794) attracted widespread praise. 'Riccardo Pisani has an ideal voice for this music and he's very well supported by the members of Ricercare Antico' (MusicWeb International). 'The grace and elegance of these arias is highlighted by Riccardo Pisani and the excellent accompaniment of Ricercare Antico' (RSI Swiss Radio).