Thais St. Julien

Co-Host, Continuum

Thaïs St. Julien has performed everything from Gregorian chant to Gershwin, appearing in recitals, concerts and opera across the U.S.  The New Orleans native is co-director (with founder Milton Scheuermann)of New Orleans Musica da Camera, performing music of the 11th through 19th centuries.  She created and directs the group’s  women’s vocal ensemble, Vox Feminae, sometimes writing and arranging music for them. She and Scheuermann co-host the ensemble’s weekly program of early music, Continuum, aired on  WWNO 89.9FM, streamed on wwno.org. Twelve Musica da Camera productions featuring the soprano as soloist have been broadcast on National Public Radio, American Public Radio and Public Radio International.

Her passion for 18th and 19th century New Orleans music has led to lectures and performances across the country. She was featured on the internationally acclaimed series “Creole Cameos” produced by WWNO, and “Arc Light”, a video series produced by Amistad Research Center. The soprano has recorded for the Newport Classics, Centaur, Belle Alliance and Clark Constructions record labels. Her closest brush with the movies was as historic music advisor for “Interview with the Vampire”.

Recipient of the 2007 Louisiana Artist Fellowship in Music, St. Julien is also a SouthernArtistry.org artist, and has received a Gambit “Tribute to the Classical Arts” Life Time Achievement Award and the Historic District Landmarks Commission’s Pioneer in Preservation Honor Award. She’s also profiled in several Marquis “Who’s Who” publications.

When not reading a mystery novel or doing historical research, she’s a magician, (it’s a performance art, after all, not that much different from music). She also belongs to some nifty organizations - the International Brotherhood of Magicians, the Society of American Magicians, the Knights of Slights and Mensa.

Ways to Connect

Continuum presents a recording of The Llibre Vermell, "The Red Book", the name given to the 14th century manuscript found in the library of the monastery of Montserrat in Spain. This manuscript is bound in red velvet and contains ten pilgrim songs and dances that probably would have been known by the pilgrims traveling to that monastery in the Middle Ages. The manuscript was prepared approximately in 1399. It originally contained 172 double pages, of which 32 have been lost. No composer is identified for any of the ten songs it contains.

"Ensemble für frühe Musik Augsburg", the great early music ensemble from Augsburg, Germany is featured on this week's Continuum. This is Part I of a series of programs devoted to the ensembles many CD recordings. Recordings used will be: "Camino de Santiago" - Christophorus CHR 74530, "Melancolia: Tears of the Soul" - Christophorus CHR 77225, and "Neidhart von Reuental" - Christophorus CD 77108.

On this Continuum you'll hear a special program devoted to the art of the recorder in early music presented by the legendary short-lived David Munrow and the Early Music Consort of London. In the 1970s Munrow had the talent of playing a wide variety of early instruments particularly the recorder for which he became quite famous. His English style of discreet, controlled expression contrasts with the greater tonal flexibility of the Continental style of that period. Recordings used are from The Art of the Recorder — Testament SBT2 1368 — a 2 CD set.

On this Continuum you'll hear dance music of the Renaissance by three major composers of the 17th century: Thoinot Arbeau of France, and William Byrd and John Playford of England. Among the dances heard will be branles, basse dances and pavans. Recordings used are; "Danses Populairies Francaises," performed by The Broadside Band - Harmonia Mundi HMA 1951152, and "William Byrd - Virginals & Consorts," performed by Capriccio Stravagante under the direction of New Orleanian Skip Sempe - Auvidis E 8611.

Excerpts from the medieval musical, "The Play of Robin and Marion", is featured on this Continuum. Composed by the 13th century trouvère Adam de la Halle, this pastoral work is considered by some to be one of the first operas written. The recording is an historic live performance given in 1984 by musicians of the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, the famous early music school in Basel, Switzerland. CD is "Le Jeu de Robin et Marion", Focus 913.

La Folia is one of the most important anonymous melodies of the 15th & 16th centuries. It has been reported to have variations composed for it by over 400 composers over the years. Probably the most notable one is by Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713). This week on Continuum you'll hear this composition and others from a few notable composers extending into the present day.

On this Continuum you'll hear a recording of a live New Orleans Musica da Camera concert from October 5, 2014. It is A Voice Still Heard - Medieval Sephardic Song, recorded at Ursuline Chapel in New Orleans.

This is a repeat of a concert given by Musica da Camera in 1990 at Gates of Prayer Synagogue in New Orleans and broadcast nationally over American Public Radio. The recording is on the Musica da Camera’s CD, A Voice Still Heard - Belle Alliance BA 011.

This week on Continuum you'll hear a program of the music of Bach. Two of the six Suites for Solo Cello will be performed by the outstanding cellist, Tess Remy-Schumacker. And excerpts from the motet repertoire of the composer will round out the program. The music is from the two CDs: Suites for Cello Solo: Nos. 1, 2 & 3 (Tess Remy-Schumacker) Xolo1011, and Johann Sebastian Bach Motetten (The Hilliard Ensemble) ECM 1875.

Two of the most famous Renaissance composers of dance music were Michael Praetorius (1571-1521) and Tielman Susato (c.1510-1570). On this Continuum you'll hear a wide selection of this highly spirited music. Performing will be the famous New York Pro Musica and the New London Consort. The music by the New York Pro Musica is from a 1950s sound track of an early video of this most famous early music ensemble. CDs used are: Praetorius/Susato (New York Pro Musica) L’Oiseau-Lyre 436 132-2, and Tielman Susato: Dansereye (New London Consort) Universal UMD 80565.

Continuum this week will present a special New Year's program of early music, both sacred and secular and also festive. The sacred music is primarily from the Manuscrit du Puy which brings together a varied group of Aquitanian monodic and polyphonic chants for the New Year from the 12th to the 16th centuries. The secular music will be spirited French estampie dances of the 14th century. Performing will be Ensemble Gilles Binchois, Theatre of Voices and Ensemble Tre Fontane.

Pages