classical music

Classical 104.9 FM hosts James Arey (left) and Jack Hopke.
Kenneth Lass / WWNO

WWNO 89.9 FM New Orleans Public Radio has begun broadcasting classical music on a new radio station, Classical 104.9 FM. With the launch of this twenty-four-hour all-classical station, New Orleans becomes the only Gulf Coast community between Houston and Tallahassee where music-lovers can hear classical music on FM radio anytime throughout the year. Classical 104.9’s signal is expected to reach standard FM radios throughout New Orleans, the Eastbank suburbs, and the major Westbank communities.

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.

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.

Pages