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.

The music of Hildegard of Bingen, the 12th century Sibyl of the Rhine, philosopher, abbess, architect, polymath and composer is featured on this Continuum. Selections from the historically important 1981 recording, A Feather on the Breath of God, performed by the Gothic Voices will be heard as well as a contemporary electronic arrangement of her music. The recordings used will be: A Feather on the Breath of God (Gothic Voices) - Hyperion GAW21039, Celestial Stairs (Ensemble Für Frühe Musik Augsburg) - Christophorus CHR 77205, and Diadema (Vox) - Erdenklang 90343.

This Continuum program is a recording of early music played by the modern early music ensemble from Paris, Capriccio Stravagante, directed by its founder, New Orleans-born Skip Sempe. Composers included are Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Diego Ortiz, Cipriano de Rore, and Josquin des Prez. Included also are compositions and arrangements composed in the antique style by Skip Sempe. Recording used is Antico Moderno (Capriccio Stravagante) - Paradizo PA0008.

Continuum presents excerpts from the medieval Play of Robin and Marion (Jeu de Robin et Marion). It is the earliest secular play with music, written in around 1282 to 1283, and is the most famous work of Adam de la Halle (1220-1288). It was first performed at the Angevin Court in Naples around this time. The story is a dramatization of a traditional genre of medieval French song, the pastourelle. Recordings used are: Le Jeu de Robin et Marion (Schola Cantorum Basiliensis) - Focus 913, Le jeu de Robin et Marion (Ensemble Perceval) - Arion ARN 68162, Arras 1300 (N.O.

This Continuum program presents early music performed on four different instruments from the medieval and Renaissance periods. They are two string instruments and two wind instruments; the viola da gamba, the Renaissance lute, the organetto (a small portative lap organ) and the recorder. Heard will be music specifically written for them played by expert musicians.

Continuum this week presents a program called The Cries of London, referring to the short lyrical and musical calls of merchants hawking their products and services at the beginning of the 17th century. Many street cries were incorporated into larger musical works, preserving them from oblivion. You'll hear the cries and related music of this period. CDs used are: The Cries of London (Theatre of Voices & Fretwork) - Harmonia Mundi 907214, Mariners and Milkmaids (The Toronto Consort) - Dorian DOR-93247, and Watkins Ale (Baltimore Consort) - Dorian DORO-90142.

This week on Continuum Milton Scheuermann and Thais St. Julien present examples of the first forms of polyphony, music composed for two or more melodies performed at the same time. Various examples are presented, including 12th Century Polyphony in Aquitaine, music from the 12th century School of Notre Dame, hockets from the 13th century Bamberg Manuscript, and motets from the 13th century Montpellier Codex. Performers include Ensemble Organum, Theatre of Voices, and Anonymous 4.

A program of music of some of the most famous German minnesingers is presented on this Continuum. The minnesingers are the German counterpart of the medieval French troubadours and trouveres. A few of the most famous are Walther von der Vogelweide, Wolfram von Eschenbach, Oswald von Wolkenstein and Der Tannhauser. The music heard is performed by four outstanding early music ensembles and singers.

Continuum this week presents a special New Year's program of early music, both sacred and secular. 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. The CDs used are: Le Manuscrit du Puy (Ensemble Gilles Binchois) Veritas Virgin Classics 077775923827, Monastic Chant (Theatre of Voices) Harmonia Mundi HMX 2907356.57, and L'Art des Jongleurs Vol.

This week on Continuum you'll hear excerpts from the Feast of Fools, a post-European Christmas event dating from the Middle Ages. Occurring between Christmas and Epiphany, this celebration was marked by much license and buffoonery. The clergy and the laity traded places for a day and interesting things happened, particularly in The Mass of the Ass. You'll hear it from these CDs: The Feast of Fools (The New London Consort) L’Oiseaus-Lyre 433 194-2, and La Fete de L'Ane (Clemencic Consort) Harmonia Mundi HMT 7901036.

On this Continuum you'll hear a special program of early Christmas music performed by the New Orleans Musica da Camera. This is music from their CD, Natus Est, directed by Continuum hosts Milton Scheuermann and Thais St. Julien. A wide variety of early and some relatively recent music is on the program, including a very spirited medley of New Mexican dances. Included also are selections from the Cantigas de Santa Maria of Alfonso X (1221-1284).

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