Musica da Camera's Continuum

Sundays at 6 a.m. on WWNO, 8 p.m. on WWNO2 and Classical 104.9 FM
  • 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 41 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.

Early Voices of Early Music will be heard on this Continuum. Three famous singers of the past will perform some early songs. The singers are Alfred Deller, Victoria De Los Angeles and Jan De Gaetani. Selections by Deller will be from the recording ”Alfred Deller: Portrait of a Legend”. Victoria De Los Angeles’ recording “Songs of Spain” will also be heard and the recording “Jan De Gaetani Early Music Recital” will present her performing with friends. This program is a very special collection from CDs in Musica da Camera’s library that are no longer available.

Continuum presents a program of two of the most important French medieval composers who lived a century apart, Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377) and Guillaume Dufay (1397-1474). Included in this program is the famous Mass of Notre Dame by Machaut, the first music composed for a Mass by a known composer. And, included also are secular songs by Dufay. His secular songs are very seldom performed and will be heard from a complete recording of them. Recordings used are: Guillaume de Machaut - Messe de Notre Dame (Hilliard Ensemble) - Hyperion CDA66358, Guillaume de Machaut - Ay Mi!

The European Ensemble Unicorn is 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. On this program they present music from three major medieval sources, including a wide variety of virtuoso dance music from the time of  Baccaccio's Decamerone. Recordings used are: Carmina Burana - Naxos 8.554837, Chominciamento di Gioia - Naxos 8.553131, and Alfonso X: Cantigas de Santa Maria - Naxos 8.553133.

This Continuum presents a program featuring the female vocal ensemble known as “Tapestry”. The Boston-based vocal and instrumental group was founded by member Laurie Monahan in the 1980s and combines a repertoire of music from the medieval to the contemporary periods. This program features the recordings “Sapphire Night”, “The Fourth River’, and “Song of Songs Come into my Garden”. The so-named Tapestry recordings used are: Musikproduction MDG 344 1193-2, Telarc CD-80534, and Telarc CD.

This Continuum is a program devoted to mostly Spanish Baroque Music from a boxed four CD set, hence the title, Baroque in a Box. The main performers are the outstanding Spanish conductor, viol player, and composer, Jordi Savall, his wife, the famous soprano, Montserrat Figueras and the American lutenist, Hopkinson Smith. They perform this music with great musical vitality and maximum historical accuracy. Also heard areThe Sixteen, the well-known choir and period-instrument orchestra from the UK.

Continuum presents Something Old, Something New, a special program devoted to music for recorder and harpsichord by “old” composers: Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) and Joseph Bodin de Boismortier (1689-1755) and “new” composers: Arnold Cooke (1906-2005), Alan Hovhaness (1911-2000) and others. The outstanding American recorder player, John Tyson performs with the Dante Quartet and various harpsichordists.

This Continuum is a program primarily of music composed by King Henry VIII (1491-1547) of England and readings from his love letters to Ann Boleyn, his second wife and Queen of England from 1533 to 1536. Henry composed quite a lot of music during his lifetime. His most famous compositions are If Love Now Reigned, Helas Madame, Pastime With Good Company and Green Groweth The Holly, all heard on this program. Recordings used are: If Love Now Reigned (Isaak Ensemble Heidelberg) - Bayer Records BR 100132 CD and Music for Henry VIII (The Hilliard Ensemble) - Saga Classics SCD 9003.

Continuum presents a program of early music performed by the 38 year old Ensemble Gilles Binchois, named after the Netherlandish composer who was one of the earliest members of the Burgundian school and one of the three most famous composers of the early 15th century. The French ensemble was founded in 1979 by Dominique Vellard. A quite varied program will be heard including the famous Mass of Notre Dame by Guillaume de Machaut (1300-1377), the first mass composed by a known composer.

Continuum presents selections from recordings of early performances of early music, namely the ensemble Studio der Frühen Musik and harpsichordist Colin Tilney. Studio der Frühen Musik (an American ensemble) was the prime early group performing early music from 1960-1980 and making many LP and CD recordings. Colin Tilney is an English keyboard performer on the harpsichord and pianoforte and one of the first keyboardists to record on the harpsichord.

Neo-Medieval is a term used by modern-day musicians who perform medieval music in a purely contemporary style. One thing this could mean is the possibility of using contemporary instruments and not the ones in use at the time of composition. Also, vocal selections could be extended to elongated elaborated interpretations of the original music. This Continuum presents three modern day American ensembles performing early music in the Neo-Medieval style.

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