classical music

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.

Early music performed by the short-lived Ensemble Alcatraz is presented on this Continuum. Formed in the late 1980s, the ensemble made only three CDs. The members of the ensemble are all well-known early music performers who play today in many other early music groups. The three CDs are all excellent for the music presented. The CDs used are: Danse Royale - Elektra Nonesuch 79240-2, Vision and Miracles - Elektra Nonesuch 79180-2 and Cantigas de Amigo - Dorian DOR 90258.

The eminent Renaissance vocal ensemble Blue Heron is featured on this Continuum. Featured is their very first CD recording performing the music of Guillaume Dufay, considered the very first major Renaissance composer. Included in the program is the music he composed for the dedication of the Cathedral in Florence, Italy in 1436. Recordings used are:  Guillaume Du Fay (Blue Heron) - Blue Heron BHCD 1001, and Istanpitta! (New York’s Ensemble for Early Music) - Lyrichord Discs LEMS 8016.

New Orleans Volunteer Orchestra

While spring festival season in Louisiana is pretty much a given at this point, the fall is turning out to be an especially busy time for classical and orchestral music. The New Orleans Volunteer Orchestra, or NOVO, is among many of the city’s classical music organizations hard at work preparing for the fall concert season. To hear more about NOVO, David Benedetto spoke with Chris Bergeron, the Orchestra’s co-founder and conductor. 

Continuum presents a program of medieval dances performed by the Capella de Ministrers, an early music group founded in 1987 in Valencia, Spain by Carles Magraner. Most of the types of medieval dances are heard on this recording including the famous Lamento di Tristano, estampies, saltarellos, istampitas and melodies from the Cantigas de Santa Maria by Alfonso X. Recording used is Lamento di Tristano (Capella de Ministrers) - Licanus B0001Z24NU.

This Continuum program presents three recorder concertos composed by three important contemporary English composers. They are: Richard Harvey, Sir Malcolm Arnold and Gordon Jacob.

Continuum presents a recording by the Norwegian female vocal ensemble, Trio Mediaeval. The title Ladymass refers not to the female singers but to the mass’s association with the Assumption of the blessed Virgin. In fact, it is extremely unlikely that women would have performed this music originally. It was written by and for the 13th century Benedictine monks of the Abbey of St. Mary’s, in Worcester, England. Recordings used are: A Worcester Ladymass (Trio Mediaeval ) - ECM New Series 2166, and, O Greenest Branch (New Orleans Musica da Camera) - Belle Alliance BA002.

The Flanders Recorder Quartet from Belgium has been playing concerts since 1987. They are one of the most recognized recorder quartets performing today. This Continuum program presents excerpts from their CD, Magic. They are joined by some of their close early music friends. Recorders used vary from six inches long to seven feet tall. The CD used is Magic - Opus 111 OPS 30-272.

The 1928 silent movie film, “The Passion of Joan of Arc”, greatly inspired American composer Richard Einhorn to write his monumental oratorio, “Voices of Light” in 1994. This Continuum presents a recording of a major portion of that work performed by Anonymous 4, other vocal and instrumental soloists with the Netherlands Radio Choir and Radio Philharmonic. Recordings used are: Voices of Light (Anonymous 4 et al) - Sony Classical SK 62006, and A l’Estampida (Dufay Collective) - Continuum CCD 1042.

This Continuum presents a program featuring the female vocal ensemble known as “Tapestry”. The Boston-based vocal 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

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