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Isabella Leonarda (1620-1704) was a remarkable woman. At a time when female composers were a rarity, she was both prominent and prolific. Although she was cloistered (literally: she was a nun) in Novara in northern Italy, the dedications of her published compositions show her to have been extremely well connected. And her music demonstrates that she was well aware of the music of contemporaries like Carissimi or Corelli. These facts would be of merely historical importance, were her music not so engaging. Although most of the works recorded here are devotional, they are full of buoyant rhythms, colorful textures and a surprisingly dramatic approach to the texts she was setting - many probably written by Leonarda herself.