Thursday, 7 February 2019


Lady Mary Dering (née Mary Harvey) was an English composer. She was born in Croydon on 3 September 1629, daughter of Daniel Harvey and Elizabeth Kynnersley. Daniel Harvey was a wealthy London merchant and member of the Levant Company, his eldest brother being the anatomist William Harvey.

At school in 1640, at Hackney's "Ladies university of the female arts", she began a friendship with Katherine Philips (the Matchless Orinda). Mary studied with Henry Lawes, who dedicated his book to her; in the dedication he highly praises her compositions, and says that few of any sex have matched their perfection. Some of her music was published in John Playford's Select Ayres and Dialogues, and three of her songs were published in Lawes' Second book of airs; these are the first known published works by a woman in England.

On 5 April 1648 Mary Harvey married to Sir Edward Dering. They had seventeen children, seven of whom died young. She survived her husband by twenty years, dying in February 1704 she also outlived her eldest son Sir Edward Dering, 3rd Baronet.

Lady Dering was buried at Pluckley in Kent, and has a memorial inscription in the church there.


A false design to br cruel by Lady Mary Dering 


Caterina Assandra (c. 1590 – after 1618) was an Italian composer and Benedictine nun. In her surviving motet book, Motetti a due a tre voci op.2, Assandra alludes to her birthplace being in the Province of Pavia. She became famous as an organist and published various works during her lifetime. Her work Motetti a due, was dedicated to G.B. Biglia, the Bishop of Pavia, and was first recognized by publisher Lomazzo. Although Assandra had accumulated a substantial reputation for her works as a composer, even reaching outside the borders of Italy, she was at times confused with another 18th-century composer with the same name. And although the date of her birth is approximate, the date of her death is still unknown.

Two of her compositions from Op. 2 appeared in German publications during the decade and a half following their original appearance. Two works by her, otherwise unknown, also appear in German tablature in a manuscript located in the Furst Thurn und Taxis library in Regensburg. Assandra's motets were among the first in the Roman style to be published in Milan, as Borsieri noted.Researchers suggest Borsieri must have heard in her music the influence of Agazzari, whose small-scale works had recently been published in the city. She composed both highly traditional pieces and more innovative works. Among the latter is Duo seraphim. Her motet O Salutaris hostia, included in Motettiop. 2, was one of the first pieces to include 'violone'.

♫ LISTEN    

Veni dilecte mi by Caterina Cassandra

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