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.

This special up-beat and foot-stomping program is devoted to Italian dances of the 14th century and includes a wide selection of estampies, saltarellos and a number of other dances of this period. Performing are members of the ensemble Chominiciamento di Gioia. The name means The Dawn of Joy. And, joyful are all of these dances. Recordings used are: Istampitte - Italian Medieval Dances (Chominiciamento di Gioia) - Tactus TC 300001, and Terpsichore (Ulsamer-Collegium) - Archiv DG 415294.

On this Continuum you'll hear excerpts from the Feast of Fools, a post-European Christmas event dating from the Middle Ages. Occurring between Christmas and Epiphany, this celebration was marked by much license and buffoonery. The clergy and the laity traded places for a day and interesting things happened, particularly in The Mass of the Ass. You'll hear it from these CDs: The Feast of Fools (The New London Consort) L’Oiseaus-Lyre 433 194-2, and La Fete de L'Ane (Clemencic Consort) Harmonia Mundi HMT 7901036.

On this Continuum you’ll hear a special program of early and relatively new Christmas music performed by New Orleans Musica da Camera. The music is from their CD, Natus Est - A Christmas Celebration, directed by Continuum hosts Milton Scheuermann, Jr. and Thais St. Julien. Recordings used are: Natus Est (New Orleans Musica da Camera) - Centaur CRC 2208 and Forse Che Si, Forse Che No (Ferrara Ensemble) - Fonti Musicali fmd 182.

Continuum presents “The Lost Spindle”, a Renaissance Spanish “folk opera”; the CD notes call it “a romance in song”. It is full of folk tunes from the 15th and 16th centuries, very well presented by Live Oak and Company. The Spanish rhythms are infectious, the performance is spirited and fun. If you enjoy Renaissance music you will like this music.

This Continuum presents music from two important medieval collections. The Glogauer Liederbuch (Glogau Song Book) is a Liederhandschrift (medieval songbook) of sacred and secular songs and instrumental music, written about 1480. The A-LA-MI-RE collection was constructed around the manuscripts written by the famous calligrapher-publisher, Petrus Alamire (fl. 1497-1535).

Continuum presents a program devoted to early music performed by the famous Clemencic Consort. Founded in 1967 by Rene Clemencic, Austrian composer, recorder player, harpsichordist, conductor and clavichord player, they have produced over 100 records and CDs. You’ll hear excerpts from four of these historically outstanding recordings including the Roman de Fauvel and the Cantigas de Santa Maria. Recordings used are: Carmina Burana - OEHMS OC 635, and Troubadours - Cantigas de Santa Maria I&II - Harmonia Mundi France HMX 2901524 & 2901525.

The early music ensemble, Atrium Musicae de Madrid, was founded in 1964 by Spanish monk, Gregorio Paniagua. Performing in the ensemble were members of the Paniagua family. The ensemble disbanded in the 1980s. Many recordings were made by the family and this Continuum presents selections from four of their CDs. Their performances are unique and unlike any of the other early music ensembles of that period.

Two well-known composers are featured on this Continuum - one old and one new. Beginning with the English 17th century Henry Purcell, you’ll hear selections from his opera, “Dido and Aeneas”. The relatively new composer, believe it or not, is our own George Gershwin, making an interesting combination of 17th and 20th century music performed by early music musicians. Recordings used are: Dido and Aeneas (The Mermaid Singers & Orchestra) - EMI CDN 7610062, Dido and Aeneas (Academy of Ancient Music) - Decca 436 992-2, H.

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.

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