Musica da Camera's Continuum

Sundays at 6 a.m. on 89.9 WWNO & 8 p.m. on Classical 104.9
  • Hosted by Milton Scheuermann and Thais St. Julien

The first Continuum broadcast was in February, 1976, and was hosted by Milton Scheuermann. Thais St. Julien joined him on the second, and the two have continued to co-host the weekly program ever since. During the past 42 years, they’ve produced over 1900 programs! Continuum has been a winner of the Early Music America/Millennium of Music National Radio Competition, and received the KXMS Fine Arts Radio International Award (Classical Radio Programing with Educational Content).

In addition to presenting a variety of recorded music of the middle ages, Renaissance and Baroque from the Musica da Camera’s 4,000 CD collection, the co-hosts have interviewed a number of internationally known performers, including John Reeves White (director of the New York Pro Musica) David Munrow (director of the Early Music Consort of London), Anonymous 4, and members of the Boston Camerata, and Sequentia. The program has also featured recordings of live early music concerts of both Musica da Camera and guest artists.

Continuum presents music by the 14th century French composer Guillaume de Machaut, known as the last great poet who was also a composer. His music for the Mass of Notre Dame represents the first known medieval Mass by a known composer. Machaut also composed in a wide range of styles and forms. He is a part of the musical movement known as the "ars nova". Besides his music for the Mass of Notre Dame, excerpts of which are heard on this program, quite a few of his love songs will also be played.

Continuum presents Old Dances, Old Recordings performed by two very early "early music ensembles", the New York Pro Musica, under the direction of founder Noah Greenberg, and the New York Renaissance Band, under the direction of founder Sally Logemann. These ensembles present early dance music by Michael Praetorius (c.1571-1621) and Tielman Susato (c.1500/15 - after 1570). Heard are excerpts from Praetorius' compositions of dances known as "Terpsichore", named after the Muse of the Dance.

Continuum presents The Art of the Bawdy Song, a program of delightful catches and ballads of Merry Old England— 300 years ago. Featured will be Songs from the Tavern, Dancing in the Grass, Tobacco and Other Stimulants, and Men and Maids. The Baltimore Consort will perform these bawdy songs with the aid of the men's singing ensemble, The Merry Companions. Recordings used are: The Art of the Bawdy Song (Baltimore Consort & Merry Companions - Dorian DOR 90155, and, Miri It Is (The Dufay Collective) - Chandos CHAN 9396.

This Continuum presents A Flemish Feast, featuring early music of the Netherlands — including songs and dances that were very popular during the Renaissance. The music is fantastically played by The Renaissance Band, Piffaro, and the Early Music Consort of London under the direction of the late David Munrow. Piffaro plays Flemish Renaissance wind music and David Munrow conducts and performs a variety of Flemish songs, instrumental selections and motets.

Continuum presents excerpts from the 12th century manuscript, Carmina Burana (The Songs from Beuern). This medieval manuscript was discovered in 1803 in the library of the Bavarian Benedictine monastery of Benedictbeuern in southern Germany. The songs, numbering over 200, are mostly bawdy, irreverent and satirical, and are in three categories: Moral and Sacred Songs, Songs of Springtime and Love, and Songs of Gambling, Eating and Drinking.This important manuscript inspired German composer Carl Orff to write his famous scenic cantata of the same name in 1936.

Continuum presents music performed by one of Americas leading early music ensembles, The Waverly Consort. Three of their CDs are featured, presenting music from the 13th century Cantigas de Santa Maria of Alfonso X, some of the songs of 14th century French composer Guillaume de Machaut, and the complete Llibre Vermell (The Red Book), a collection of ten pilgrim songs of the late 14th Century. Recordings used are: Las Cantigas de Santa Maria - The Bach Guild OVC 2013, Douce Dame - Vanguard Classics OVC, and Traveler: Medieval Journeys Through Time - Angel CDC 7243 5 55559

Continuum presents a program by the outstanding early music ensemble Sequentia, now in its forty-first year of performing medieval music, some of which has been hitherto unknown. This program focuses of two major works from around the year 1200, The Story of Samson & Delilah and The Labors of Hercules.

The Baroque composer Antonio Caldara (1670-1736) is best known as a creator or operas, cantatas and oratories. This program presents one of his most interesting compositions, music composed for a social gathering in the form of a comic chamber opera. The composition is called The Card Game. The performance is by The Queen's Chamber Band, conducted by Stephen Alltop and featuring soprano Julianne Baird and contralto Patrice Djerejian. The recording is The Card Game - Albany Troy 705.

The early music English vocal ensemble Gothic Voices was founded in 1981 by the scholar and musician Christopher Page and has since recorded 25 CDs. Gothic Voices is a United Kingdom based vocal ensemble specializing in repertoire from the 11th to the 15th century but also performing contemporary music, particularly pieces with medieval associations. The ensemble has commissioned contemporary works for its unusual vocal forces, with recent performances of works by Joanne Metcalf and Andrew Smith.

The name Anonymous Four is quite important to early music. It represents two identities: the first, Anonymous IV, is an unknown writer of an important treatise of medieval music theory, particularly about the music of Notre Dame in Paris in the 13th Century. The second, Anonymous 4, is a contemporary female vocal quartet specializing in medieval music. They began their career in 1992 and are still performing quite regularly. This Continuum presents music of both of these Anonymous Fours.

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