continuum

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.

This Continuum presents a program of early English music performed by a unique ensemble known as The King's Noyse, the leading North American Renaissance-style violin, viola and cello ensemble. The music is from three of their CDs entitled Canzonetta, Holborne's "My Selfe", and The Queen's Delight. Recording's used are: Harmonia Mundi France HMU 907127, Harmonia Mundi HMU 907238 and Harmonia Mundi France HMU 907180.

This Continuum presents music by the 15th century French composer, Johannes Ciconia. Beside composing music he was also a music theorist of the late Middle Ages. He was born in Liège, but worked most of his adult life in Italy, particularly in the service of the papal chapel(s) and at Padua cathedral. The Chansonnier Cordiforme dates from the 1470s and is a heart-shaped manuscript containing 43 songs of Dufay, Binchois, Ockeghem, Busnoys and others including several unica.

Continuum presents a program devoted to the music of Guillaume Dufay  (1397-1474), who was a Franco-Flemish composer and music theorist of the early Renaissance and the most important composer of his time. He belonged to the group of composers known as the Burgundian School. Dufay had more influence on music in Europe than any other composer of the 15th century and is considered the first major composer of the beginning of the Renaissance period.

This Continuum presents unique contemporary performances of medieval music in accordance with the modern revival of music from this period, hence the name, Neo-Medieval. The three ensembles have been highly praised for their approaches to performing this music. All are different from each other but each gives excellent interpretations of the selections.Recordings used are: Sapphire Night  (Tapestry) - MDG 344 1193-2, Neo-Medieval (Hesperus) - Dorian DIS 80155, and Darkness Into Light (Anonymous 4) - Harmonia Mundi HMU 907274.

This Continuum is a very merry program of early English music, primarily Elizabethan and Jacobean and features songs and dances of that period. Included are songs by some of the most famous composers of that time such as John Dowland, Thomas Campion, and Thomas Morley. And, of course, specific dances like Kemp's Jig and Cupid's Doomsday, Recordings used are: Miri It Is (The Dufay Collective) - Chandos CHAN 9396, Ars Britannica (Pro Cantione Antiqua) - Teldec 2292-46004-2, and When Birds Do Sing (Folger Consort) - Bard BDCD 1-9207.

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