classical music

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

This Continuum program is devoted to the music of the Ars Subtilior (subtle art), an early musical style characterized by rhythmic and notational complexity, centered in Paris, Avignon in southern France, also in northern Spain at the end of the fourteenth century and in southern France in the 14th century. Often the term is used in contrast with Ars Nova, which applies to the musical style of the preceding period from about 1310 to about 1370.

Manhattan Chamber Players.
Sophie Zhai

August's classical music languor will be relieved on August 18 when the new Crescent City Chamber Music Festival (CCCMF) debuts at 6 p.m. with a concert in an unorthodox venue, the Urban South Brewery, 1645 Tchoupitoulas Street. The performance will be free, with food served afterward and special beer flights available for purchase.

Continuum presents a program devoted to Renaissance music performed on two of the most popular musical instruments of that period, the viola da gamba and, the lute. Performers include Ron McFarlane, Paul O'Dette and the famous Jodi Savall, all well known masters of their instruments.