Thais St. Julien

Co-Host, Continuum

Thaïs St. Julien has performed everything from Gregorian chant to Gershwin, appearing in recitals, concerts and opera across the U.S.  The New Orleans native is co-director (with founder Milton Scheuermann)of New Orleans Musica da Camera, performing music of the 11th through 19th centuries.  She created and directs the group’s  women’s vocal ensemble, Vox Feminae, sometimes writing and arranging music for them. She and Scheuermann co-host the ensemble’s weekly program of early music, Continuum, aired on  WWNO 89.9FM, streamed on wwno.org. Twelve Musica da Camera productions featuring the soprano as soloist have been broadcast on National Public Radio, American Public Radio and Public Radio International.

Her passion for 18th and 19th century New Orleans music has led to lectures and performances across the country. She was featured on the internationally acclaimed series “Creole Cameos” produced by WWNO, and “Arc Light”, a video series produced by Amistad Research Center. The soprano has recorded for the Newport Classics, Centaur, Belle Alliance and Clark Constructions record labels. Her closest brush with the movies was as historic music advisor for “Interview with the Vampire”.

Recipient of the 2007 Louisiana Artist Fellowship in Music, St. Julien is also a SouthernArtistry.org artist, and has received a Gambit “Tribute to the Classical Arts” Life Time Achievement Award and the Historic District Landmarks Commission’s Pioneer in Preservation Honor Award. She’s also profiled in several Marquis “Who’s Who” publications.

When not reading a mystery novel or doing historical research, she’s a magician, (it’s a performance art, after all, not that much different from music). She also belongs to some nifty organizations - the International Brotherhood of Magicians, the Society of American Magicians, the Knights of Slights and Mensa.

Ways to Connect

Continuum presents a program devoted to early music performed by the famous Clemencic Consort. Founded in 1967 by Rene Clemencic, Austrian composer, recorder player, harpsichordist, conductor and clavichord player, they have produced over 100 records and CDs. You’ll hear excerpts from four of these historically outstanding recordings including the Roman de Fauvel and the Cantigas de Santa Maria. Recordings used are: Carmina Burana - OEHMS OC 635, and Troubadours - Cantigas de Santa Maria I&II - Harmonia Mundi France HMX 2901524 & 2901525.

The early music ensemble, Atrium Musicae de Madrid, was founded in 1964 by Spanish monk, Gregorio Paniagua. Performing in the ensemble were members of the Paniagua family. The ensemble disbanded in the 1980s. Many recordings were made by the family and this Continuum presents selections from four of their CDs. Their performances are unique and unlike any of the other early music ensembles of that period.

Two well-known composers are featured on this Continuum - one old and one new. Beginning with the English 17th century Henry Purcell, you’ll hear selections from his opera, “Dido and Aeneas”. The relatively new composer, believe it or not, is our own George Gershwin, making an interesting combination of 17th and 20th century music performed by early music musicians. Recordings used are: Dido and Aeneas (The Mermaid Singers & Orchestra) - EMI CDN 7610062, Dido and Aeneas (Academy of Ancient Music) - Decca 436 992-2, H.

The music of the 14th century Italian composer, Francesco Landini, is featured on this Continuum. His love songs, 146 of which are contained in the famous Squarcialupi Codex, an illuminated manuscript compiled in Florence, Italy in the early 15th century are major compositions for this period of early Italian music. In addition to the songs of Landini, a selection of songs by Ghirardello da Firenze from the same Codex are also heard.

Three major early music sopranos present performances of the music they enjoy singing the most. The singers are Julianne Baird, Evelyn Tubb and the inimitable Emma Kirkby. All three of these ladies have produced dozens of CDs over the past three decades ranging from Greensleeves to the music of J.S. Bach. All are heard on this very delightful program. The recordings used are: Greensleeves (Baird, McFarlane) - Dorian DOR 90126, The Mad Lover (Tubb & Kelly) - Musica Obscura 070987, J. S.

Early music performed by the short-lived Ensemble Alcatraz is presented on this Continuum. Formed in the late 1980s, the ensemble made only three CDs. The members of the ensemble are all well-known early music performers who play today in many other early music groups. The three CDs are all excellent for the music presented. The CDs used are: Danse Royale - Elektra Nonesuch 79240-2, Vision and Miracles - Elektra Nonesuch 79180-2 and Cantigas de Amigo - Dorian DOR 90258.

The eminent Renaissance vocal ensemble Blue Heron is featured on this Continuum. Featured is their very first CD recording performing the music of Guillaume Dufay, considered the very first major Renaissance composer. Included in the program is the music he composed for the dedication of the Cathedral in Florence, Italy in 1436. Recordings used are:  Guillaume Du Fay (Blue Heron) - Blue Heron BHCD 1001, and Istanpitta! (New York’s Ensemble for Early Music) - Lyrichord Discs LEMS 8016.

The first recording of the music of the medieval German Benedictine Abbess, Hildegard of Bingen, is performed by the ensemble Sequentia on this Continuum. The ensemble continued to record all of the music of the Abbess during the next decade with a collection of music about Saints, ending their project in 1998, the year celebrating Hildegard's 900th birthday - hence, the first and last. Recordings used are: Hildegard von Bingen (Sequentia) - Musical Heritage Society 513813H, Saints (Sequentia) - BMG Classics 0547277378 2.

 

Continuum presents a program of medieval dances performed by the Capella de Ministrers, an early music group founded in 1987 in Valencia, Spain by Carles Magraner. Most of the types of medieval dances are heard on this recording including the famous Lamento di Tristano, estampies, saltarellos, istampitas and melodies from the Cantigas de Santa Maria by Alfonso X. Recording used is Lamento di Tristano (Capella de Ministrers) - Licanus B0001Z24NU.

CLM 4660 is the library call number for the Carmina Burana (Latin for "Songs from Beuern") manuscript now housed in the Bavarian State Library in Munich. The collection was found in 1803 in the Benedictine monastery of Benediktbeuern, Bavaria. This Continuum presents a wide variety of musical selections from this important medieval document of poems and dramatic texts mostly from the 11th or 12th century written principally in Medieval Latin; a few in Middle High German, and some with traces of Old French Provencal.

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