Musica da Camera's Continuum

Sundays at 6 a.m.
  • 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 38 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.

Continuum presents a program by the outstanding early music ensemble, Sequentia, now in its thirty-eighth year of performing medieval music, some of which has been hitherto unknown. This program focuses of two major works from around the year 1200, The Story of Samson & Delilah and The Labors of Hercules. These two pieces are in the form of narrative lais, a medieval type of story telling in a vocal style prevalent in medieval times.

The Baroque composer Antonio Caldara (1670-1736) is best known as a creator or operas, cantatas and oratories. This program presents one of his most interesting compositions, music composed for a social gathering in the form of a comic chamber opera.

The composition is called The Card Game. The performance is by The Queen's Chamber Band, conducted by Stephen Alltop and featuring soprano Julianne Baird and contralto Patrice Djerejian. The recording is The Card Game - Albany Troy 705.

The early music English vocal ensemble Gothic Voices was founded in 1981 and has since recorded 25 CDs.

This Continuum program presents excerpts from four of their recordings, featuring early music from Germany, France, Spain and England.

The name Anonymous Four is quite important to early music. It represents two identities: the first, Anonymous IV, an unknown writer of an important treatise of medieval music theory, particularly about the music of Notre Dame in Paris in the 13th Century.

The second is Anonymous 4, a contemporary female vocal quartet specializing in medieval music. They began their career in 1992 and are still performing quite regularly.

Musical instruments produce their sound in many ways. This program is devoted to two instruments: one that's plucked (the harpsichord), and one that's bowed (the cello).

Harpsichord music by Francois Couperin (1668-1733) is performed by New Orleans-born Skip Sempe, and solo suites for cello by Bach are performed by Tess Remy-Schumacher.

The King's Delight, The Queen's Delight, and The Ladyes Delight — three early music CDs devoted to different Elizabethan delights are presented to a very notable collection of Delightful Delights. In addition, music from a CD called Watkin's Ale presents some very spirited and sometimes bawdy music of the same period. The music is performed by two excellent American early music ensembles.

The Estampie was one of the most popular of medieval dances. It exists in many forms in French, Italian and Catalan manuscripts. It is not known exactly how this dance was performed but listening to the music it is very obvious that it was a fast moving event. On this program you'll hear Mostly Estampies performed by three outstanding early music ensembles. Recordings used will be: A l'Estampida (Dufay Collective) - Continuum CCD 1042, Estampies et Danses Royales du Moyen Age (Loinhdana) - Pierre Verany PV790043, and Estanpitta! 14th Century Dances (N.Y.

The music of Hildegard of Bingen, the 12th century Sibyl of the Rhine, philosopher, abbess, architect, polymath and composer will be featured on this week's 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.

The Garden of Love will be featured on Continuum this week, with performances by La Nef, Gothic Voices, and The Dufay Collective.

Music from The Garden of Earthly Delights, The Garden of Zephirus and A Dance in the Garden of Mirth will be heard — an array of the various aspects of the medieval Garden of Love including both songs and dances.

Recordings used are; (La Nef) - Dorian DIS-80135, (Gothic Voices) - Hyperion CDA66144, and (The Dufay Collective) - Chandos CHAN 9320

Jordi Savall is one of the most famous of early music musicians performing today. He is truly a "Musician Extraordinaire."

Continuum this week presents recordings of some of his expert solo playing on the Renaissance viola da gamba. Also included will be recordings of his early music ensemble, Hesperion XXI performing works of the English Renaissance composer William Lawes.

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