Musica da Camera's Continuum

Sundays at 6 a.m. on 89.9 WWNO & 8 p.m. on Classical 104.9
  • 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 42 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.

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.

This week on Continuum you'll hear the music that was used in the 1972 movie, "Henry VIII And His Six Wives", performed by the Early Music Consort of London under the direction of the legendary David Munrow. Included in the performers is Christopher Hogwood on harpsichord and regal, a Renaissance reed organ. Henry VIII was also a prolific musician and composer. His most famous composition was the song, “Pastime With Good Company”, heard on this program. This is the movie sound track originally issued on an LP in the early 1970s but re-mastered for CD.

“Sumer Is Icumen In” (also called the Summer Canon and the Cuckoo Song) is a medieval English round song of the mid-13th century. This rota is the oldest known musical composition featuring six-part polyphony and is possibly the oldest surviving example of independent melodic counterpoint. It is featured on this week's Continuum along with other 13th century English music. CD recordings used will be Sumer Is Icumen In (The Hilliard Ensemble) - Chandos CHAN 9396, and Miri It Is (The Dufay Collective) - Harmonia Mundi HMA 1951154.

This week, Continuum features The Queen’s Delight, a special music program devoted to the 17th century English ballads and dances of the time of Elizabeth I. You’ll hear music by John Dowland, William Byrd, Thomas Robinson and, of course, the inimitable Anonymous, performed by members of The King’s Noyse early music ensemble. Also included are songs and dances from Shakespeare performed by The Broadside Band.

The unicorn is a legendary animal that has been described since antiquity. But it is also the name of an outstanding early music group from Europe, The Unicorn Ensemble, heard on this Continuum. The musicians are from Austria, Italy and Germany and specialize in playing historical instruments in fascinating programs, full of variety and played with artistry and great refinement.

Continuum this week presents part two of a program devoted to music from Ottaviano Petrucci's historic music publication, "Harmonice Musices Odhecaton," the first printed sheet music document, published in 1501. Petrucci (1466-1530) was the first to publish a collection of printed music of the period using movable type. Included in the selections are chansons, frottole, popular Italian dances & sacred music from that printed collection. Recordings used are: Petrucci - The First Printer of Music (N.Y. Pro Musica) - Copy of LP Decca DL 79435 and Praetorious / Susato (N.Y.

Continuum this week presents a program of dances from medieval times to the present performed by a wandering minstrel ensemble called "Wolgemut". They perform historical music on original instruments such as the medieval bagpipes, shawms and bombastic drums as well as quiet instruments like the flute, medieval fiddle and harp. Founded in Berlin, Germany, they have performed throughout the United States and Europe since 1997. They pride themselves on providing high quality entertainment guaranteed to leave the audience "in a good mood", which happens to be the translation of Wolgemut!

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