classical music

The name Anonymous Four is quite important to early music. It represents two identities: the first, Anonymous IV, an unknown writer of an important treatise of medieval music theory, particularly about the music of Notre Dame in Paris in the 13th Century.

The second is Anonymous 4, a contemporary female vocal quartet specializing in medieval music. They began their career in 1992 and are still performing quite regularly.

Musical instruments produce their sound in many ways. This program is devoted to two instruments: one that's plucked (the harpsichord), and one that's bowed (the cello).

Harpsichord music by Francois Couperin (1668-1733) is performed by New Orleans-born Skip Sempe, and solo suites for cello by Bach are performed by Tess Remy-Schumacher.

The King's Delight, The Queen's Delight, and The Ladyes Delight — three early music CDs devoted to different Elizabethan delights are presented to a very notable collection of Delightful Delights. In addition, music from a CD called Watkin's Ale presents some very spirited and sometimes bawdy music of the same period. The music is performed by two excellent American early music ensembles.

The Garden of Love will be featured on Continuum this week, with performances by La Nef, Gothic Voices, and The Dufay Collective.

Music from The Garden of Earthly Delights, The Garden of Zephirus and A Dance in the Garden of Mirth will be heard — an array of the various aspects of the medieval Garden of Love including both songs and dances.

Recordings used are; (La Nef) - Dorian DIS-80135, (Gothic Voices) - Hyperion CDA66144, and (The Dufay Collective) - Chandos CHAN 9320

Jordi Savall is one of the most famous of early music musicians performing today. He is truly a "Musician Extraordinaire."

Continuum this week presents recordings of some of his expert solo playing on the Renaissance viola da gamba. Also included will be recordings of his early music ensemble, Hesperion XXI performing works of the English Renaissance composer William Lawes.

Anonymous, Hans Holbein (II), 1547 / Rijksmuseum

This week on Continuum you'll hear the music that was used in the 1972 movie "Henry VIII And His Six Wives", performed by the Early Music Consort of London under the direction of the legendary David Munrow.

Included in the performers is Christopher Hogwood on harpsichord and regal, a Renaissance reed organ. This is the movie sound track originally issued on an LP in the early 1970s but recently remastered for CD. The recording used is Testament SBT 1250.

Sumer Is Icumen In (also called the Summer Canon and the Cuckoo Song) is a medieval English round song of the mid-13th century. This rota is the oldest known musical composition featuring six-part polyphony and is possibly the oldest surviving example of independent melodic counterpoint.

It will be featured on this week's Continuum along with other 13th century English music. CD recordings used will be Sumer Is Icumen In (The Hilliard Ensemble) - Chandos CHAN 9396, and Miri It Is (The Dufay Collective) - Harmonia Mundi HMA 1951154.

This week, Continuum will feature The Queen’s Delight, a special music program devoted to the 17th century English ballads and dances of the time of Elizabeth I.

You’ll hear music by John Dowland, William Byrd, Thomas Robinson and, of course, the inimitable Anonymous, performed by members of The King’s Noyse early music ensemble.

CD recordings used will be The Queen's Delight (The King's Noyse) - harmonia mundi 907180; and, Songs & Dances from Shakespeare (The Broadside Band) - Saydisc CD-SDL 400

Dr. James Boldin, associate professor of music at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, recently published “Solo Duet Training for Horns,” a collection of instructive duets for the French horn.

The unicorn is a legendary animal that has been described since antiquity. But it is also the name of an outstanding early music ensemble from Austria.

This week on Continuum you'll hear music from three of the Unicorn Ensemble's CDs, including the Cantigas de Santa Maia of Alfonso X and the 12th century Carmina Burana. CDs used are Alfonso X, Cantigas de Santa Maria - Naxos 8.553133; Carmina Burana - Naxos 8.554837; and Chominciamento di Gioia - Naxos 8.553131