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 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.

Continuum presents music performed by the medieval music Ensemble Altramar, founded in 1991 in Bloomington, Indiana. The ensemble specializes in music of the medieval Era, sharing historical repertory. Altramar, in the Occitan language of the troubadours, was the name given to the Near Eastern lands that lay “over the sea;” the lands where Crusade and trade resulted in the rich cultural interchange of East and West. Recordings by Altramar used are: Nova Stella  - Dorian DIS-80142, Saint Francis and the Minstrels of God - Dorian DIS-80143, and Crossroads of the Celts - Dorian DOR-93177.

This week on Continuum you'll hear a recording of a live New Orleans Musica da Camera concert from October 5, 2014. It is “A Voice Still Heard - Medieval Sephardic Song”, recorded at Ursuline Shrine of Our Lady of Prompt Succor Chapel in New Orleans. This is a repeat of a concert give by Musica da Camera in 1990 at Gates of Prayer Synagogue in New Orleans and broadcast nationally over American Public Radio. The recording is on the CD, A Voice Still Heard - Belle Alliance BA 011.

This week Continnum presents music from the first music publication of the Italian printer, Ottaviano dei Petrucci (1466-1530), who was the first to publish in 1501 a collection of music of the period  printed 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. Pro Musica) - Universal UMD80565.

History tells us that traveling in medieval times was very interesting for the various countries that could be visited. Naturally traveling in those days took more time then today. This Continuum presents music depicting some of those interesting journeys. Recordings uses are: Traveler (The Waverly Consort) - Angel CDC 7243 5 55559 2 2, and Schiarazula Marazula (Musica Antiqua) - Cantas C 9605.

Very early music was written for the human voices and later including instruments performing the same line of music. The music term, polyphony, refers to two or more different melodic lines that are sung or played instrumentally at the same time. This Continuum presents musical selections of the earliest forms of polyphony for voices and instruments. Recording uses are: The Birth of Polyphony (Various Artists) - Harmonia Mundi - Century 5 and, Die Blasinstrumente aus der St. Wenzelskirche in Naumburg (Krickeberg & Lerch) - Klingendes Museum KM2017-2.

The earliest music was composed for the human voice or ensembles of voices. It was not until medieval times that instruments were used to accompany the voices and then as solo instruments without voices. This Continuum presents music devoted to the rise of instrumental music with examples of a variety of the early instruments. The recording use is: Early Music (Various performers) - Vol. 10 of Century Harmonia HMX 2918163-72.

Three important subjects on this Continuum: Love, Song & Carnival. All three are definitely related for the Mardi Gras celebration. They really fit the saying, “You can’t have one without the others!” The music is from five excellent CDs. The CDs used are: A Florentine Carnival (London Pro Musica) - IMP PCD 825, The Second Circle (Anonymous 4) - Harmonia Mundi HMU 907269, Alfonso V el Magnanim (Capella Reial de Catalunya) - Aliavox AV 9816, D’Amor Cantando (Micrologus) - Opus 111 OPS 2033, and Canti Carnascialeschi (Josquin Ensemble - Wien) - Christophorus CD 74538

Continuum presents a program dealing with two very early music subjects. The first is Music of the Ancient World, the oldest music available for reconstruction from written and manuscript sources. And, the second is The Rise of Instrumental Music including recordings of music on reconstructions of some of the earliest instruments known to mankind. Recordings used are: Music of the Ancient World (Various performers) - Century Vol. 1 and, The Rise of Instrumental Music (Various performers) - Century Vol. 10.

This Continuum presents early music from three diverse sources. They are Birds, Wind, and Masque. You must listen to find out the relationship of these three interesting subjects. Performances are by three ensembles of great note. You’ll be surprised to find out the reason for the titles of these selections. The CDs used are: Birds on Fire (Fretwork) Vanguard Classics - Harmonia Mundi - HMU 97478, Western Wind (Alfred Deller et al) Vanguard Classics - OVC 8111, and The Masque of Oberon (Musicians of the Globe) - Philips PH 446 217-2.

Any young medieval man would have been entranced to get a Sideways Seductive Smile from a young lady. This is even true of modern times. On this Continuum you’ll hear medieval music written about this. Performing will be three of early music’s noted ensembles.

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