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.

This week, Continuum features The Queen’s Delight, a special music program devoted to the 17th century English ballads and dances of the time of Elizabeth I. You’ll hear music by John Dowland, William Byrd, Thomas Robinson and, of course, the inimitable Anonymous, performed by members of The King’s Noyse early music ensemble. Also included are songs and dances from Shakespeare performed by The Broadside Band.

The unicorn is a legendary animal that has been described since antiquity. But it is also the name of an outstanding early music group from Europe, The Unicorn Ensemble, heard on this Continuum. The musicians are from Austria, Italy and Germany and specialize in playing historical instruments in fascinating programs, full of variety and played with artistry and great refinement.

Continuum this week presents part two of a program devoted to music from Ottaviano Petrucci's historic music publication, "Harmonice Musices Odhecaton," the first printed sheet music document, published in 1501. Petrucci (1466-1530) was the first to publish a collection of printed music of the period using movable type. Included in the selections are chansons, frottole, popular Italian dances & sacred music from that printed collection. Recordings used are: Petrucci - The First Printer of Music (N.Y. Pro Musica) - Copy of LP Decca DL 79435 and Praetorious / Susato (N.Y.

Continuum this week presents a program of dances from medieval times to the present performed by a wandering minstrel ensemble called "Wolgemut". They perform historical music on original instruments such as the medieval bagpipes, shawms and bombastic drums as well as quiet instruments like the flute, medieval fiddle and harp. Founded in Berlin, Germany, they have performed throughout the United States and Europe since 1997. They pride themselves on providing high quality entertainment guaranteed to leave the audience "in a good mood", which happens to be the translation of Wolgemut!

On Continuum this week will be a special program devoted Gregorian Chant, from a ten-CD set of the History of Music. Specifically, this volume covers musical Europe in the era of Gregorian unification. Gregorian chant developed mainly in western and central Europe during the 9th and 10th centuries, with later additions and redactions. Although popular legend credits Pope St. Gregory the Great with inventing Gregorian chant, scholars believe that it arose from a later Carolingian synthesis of Roman chant and Gallican chant.

This week on Continuum you’ll hear two very different performances of the earliest known song cycle, Cantigas de Amigo, (Songs of a Friend) by the mid 13th century Galician-Portuguese troubadour composer, Martin Codax. These love songs were composed to be sung by women. This is one of the few collections of medieval compositions by a known composer, of whom almost nothing is known. But, obviously he is very special to his present countrymen since Martin Codax wine is one of the best being produced in Galicia today!

The "La, La, La, La"  name of this week's Continuum program is based on the names of the four CDs featured on the program, all beginning with "La". These are four very different selections of early music, each with a different early music ensemble. The CDs used are: La Folia (Jordi Savall et al) - Alia Vox AV 9805; La Messe  des Fous (Barry Hayward Consort) - BNL112746; La Dolce Vita (King's Singers & Tragicomedia) - EMI CDC  7 541 91 2; and La Bele Marie (Anonymous 4) - Harmonia Mundi HMU 907312.

The instrumental consort music of English 17th century composer Anthony Holborne will be featured this week on Continuum. You'll hear many of his dances, including pavans, galliards and almaynes with interesting titles including "The Honeysuckle" and "The Fairie Round." The outstanding performances will be given by The King's Noyse under the director of David Douglas. Recording used is: My Selfe - The Music of Anthony Holborne (The King's Noyse) - Harmonia Mundi HMU 907238.

This week on Continuum you'll hear medieval music related to the 12th century Celtic legend of Tristan and Isolde. It is this legend that inspired Richard Wagner to write his monumental music drama. 

With Spring now officially with us Continuum celebrates the new season with a special program of early English Music featuring a live performance by The Folger Consort of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C. You'll hear "It Was a Lover and His Lass", "Daphne" and many other appropriate to the coming of Spring. Recordings used are: When Birds Do Sing (The Folger Consort) - Bard BDCD 1-9207 and William Byrd - Virginals & Consorts (Capriccio Stravagante) - Auvidis E 8611.

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