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

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.

This Continuum program presents three recorder concertos composed by three important contemporary English composers. They are: Richard Harvey, Sir Malcolm Arnold and Gordon Jacob.

This Continuum presents a program of early music related to a number of important Kings of the past, including King Rene, Henry VIII, Richard the Lion-Hearted and a few more. Performers include a number of well-known early music music ensembles. Recordings used are: At the Court of King Rene (Ensemble Perceval) - Arion ARN 68104, Henry VIII and His Six Wives (Early Music Consort of London) - Testament SBT 1250, Music for the Lion-Hearted King (Gothic Voices) - Hyperion CDAA66336, and The King’s Musick (Ricercare für Alte Musik, Zurich) - EMI 724382648826.

Continuum presents a recording by the Norwegian female vocal ensemble, Trio Mediaeval. The title Ladymass refers not to the female singers but to the mass’s association with the Assumption of the blessed Virgin. In fact, it is extremely unlikely that women would have performed this music originally. It was written by and for the 13th century Benedictine monks of the Abbey of St. Mary’s, in Worcester, England. Recordings used are: A Worcester Ladymass (Trio Mediaeval ) - ECM New Series 2166, and, O Greenest Branch (New Orleans Musica da Camera) - Belle Alliance BA002.

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