continuum

During the Renaissance period dancing was one of the most favored past times. On this Continuum you’ll hear music composed by three masters of that time. A Renaissance dance can be likened to a ball. Knowledge of court dances has survived better than that of country dances as they were collected by dancing masters in manuscripts and later in printed books. Recordings used are: Danses Populaires Francaises (The Broadside Band) - Harmonia Mundi HMA 1951152, and William Byrd - Virginals & Consorts (Capriccio Stravagante) - Auvidis E 8611.

The nightingale was a complex symbol for medieval writers. Her song was a reminder of both the joys and sorrows of earthly love. She is referred to very often in medieval songs, motets and polyphony. On this Continuum you'll hear some of this music in a recording of a live Musica da Camera concert. The program is from the Musica da Camera's CD, Praise To The Nightingale, Belle Alliance BA005.

Continuum presents 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.

This Continuum presents a recording of a live concert by New Orleans Musica da Camera. Jongleur, Jester, Trickster, was a special concert given by Musica da Camera in 2012. It is music from the 13th and 14th centuries of France, Italy, England & Spain. Thais St. Julien also gives narrative information before the performance of each musical selection. The music is from the Musica da Camera CD, Jongleur, Jester, Trickster, Belle Alliance BA006.

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 variation of the La Folia 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.

Continuum presents dance music that may have been heard in The Garden of Mirth (a garden of love) from the 13th Century poem, The Romance of the Rose, a medieval French poem styled as an allegorical dream vision. It is a notable instance of courtly literature. The work's stated purpose is to both entertain and to teach others about the Art of Love. At various times in the poem, the "Rose" of the title is seen as the name of the lady, and as a symbol of female sexuality in general.

Dancing in the Middle ages was one of the most popular pastimes. There are some medieval and Renaissance dances that have come down to us. Unfortunately quite a few of the popular dances were not written down because it was assumed that everybody knew them. On this Continuum you’ll hear some of the 45 or so dances that we do have available from early written sources. Recordings used are: A Dance in the Garden of Mirth (The Dufay Collective) - Chandos CHAN 9320, and Istanpitta II (New York’s Ensemble for Early Music) - Lyrichord LEMS 8022.

This Continuum program is devoted to the music of the Ars Subtilior (subtle art), an early musical style characterized by rhythmic and notational complexity, centered in Paris, Avignon in southern France, also in northern Spain at the end of the fourteenth century and in southern France in the 14th century. Often the term is used in contrast with Ars Nova, which applies to the musical style of the preceding period from about 1310 to about 1370.

Continuum presents a program devoted to Renaissance music performed on two of the most popular musical instruments of that period, the viola da gamba and, the lute. Performers include Ron McFarlane, Paul O'Dette and the famous Jodi Savall, all well known masters of their instruments.

Continuum features The Early Music Ensemble Gilles Binchois, which has been performing medieval church music for over thirty five years. The musicians are named after one of the most important composers of the 15th century Burgundian School. You'll hear them perform Guillaume de Machaut’s 14th century Mass of Notre Dame, the first medieval polyphonic setting of a mass by a known single composer. The setting of this mass is thought to have been composed specifically for the Cathedral of Rheims.

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