The Spirit Transformed: Women and the 17th Century Sacred Songs


This concert features 17th-century French-language sacred songs composed primarily for women by Catholic priests as part of the Catholic Reform, initiated during the sixteenth century in response to the Protestant Reformation. Initially, sacred songs were used primarily to teach women of all classes about the fundamentals of Catholicism as a means to prevent the spread of Protestantism and to facilitate a deeper spiritual experience. They could also be sung during recreational hours or used for private devotion in domestic settings, salons, classrooms, or private chapels. Sacred songs were composed in popular song forms, either tunes already in circulation with secular texts replaced by religious lyrics or newly composed songs by notable composers like Bertrand de Bacilly, Michel Lambert, and André Campra. This beautiful repertory, never heard in performance before, features songs for one, two, and three voices accompanied by basso continuo, violin, and flute. 

Professor Catherine Gordon will provide commentary of the repertory during the concert. 


Janet Stone, soprano
Shannon Canavin, soprano
Miguel Cabrera, tenor
Cynthia Mathiesen, Baroque violin, viola da gamba
Na’ama Lion, Baroque flute
Laury Gutiérrez, viola da gamba
Vivian Montgomery, keyboards

Friday, March 31 at 4PM

Ryan Concert Hall, Smith Center for the Arts

Providence College, Providence RI

Free and open to the public


Saturday, April 1 at 7PM

Church of the Covenant

67 Newbury Street, Boston

Tickets: $35, $20, & $5

The Spirit Transformed