classical music

The Folger Consort is one of the oldest early music ensembles in the U.S. Its home base is the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC containing the largest Shakespeare collection in the world. 

This Continuum program features three famous singers of the past performing songs from the early music repertoire. The singers are countertenor Alfred Deller, mezzo-soprano Jan DeGaetani and soprano Victoria De Los Angeles. They present a variety of early music selections recorded about forty years ago.

Continuum presents a program devoted Renaissance flute music from the 16th century, specifically, from the Chanson Musicales, printed in Paris in 1533 by the famous French printer, Pierre Attaingnant. Copies of actual Renaissance wooden flutes are used by the ensemble, Zephyrus Flutes, directed by Nancy Hadden. A Renaissance lute is added in a number of the selections. The recording used is: Pierre Attaingnant - Chansons Musicales, Paris 1533. (Zephyrus Flutes) ZF001.

This Continuum presents music by the 15th century French composer, Johannes Ciconia. Beside composing music he was also a music theorist of the late Middle Ages. He was born in Liège, but worked most of his adult life in Italy, particularly in the service of the papal chapel(s) and at Padua cathedral. The Chansonnier Cordiforme dates from the 1470s and is a heart-shaped manuscript containing 43 songs of Dufay, Binchois, Ockeghem, Busnoys and others including several unica.

Continuum presents a program devoted to the music of Guillaume Dufay, who was a Franco-Flemish composer and music theorist of the early Renaissance and the most important composer of his time.

He belonged to the group of composers known as the Burgundian School. Dufay had more influence on music in Europe than any other composer of the 15th century and is considered the first major composer of the beginning of the Renaissance period.

Out To Lunch: Naked Philharmonic
Alison Moon / It's New Orleans

On May 22, 1796, while George Washington was still president, the first opera performance in America was staged here in New Orleans. These days most of us think of New Orleans music as small bands playing jazz and funk, but orchestral music has been played here continuously from that night in 1796.

Today, Carlos Miguel Prieto leads a classical music orchestra, the Louisiana Philharmonic. Guitarist, composer and co-founder of The New Orleans Klezmer All Stars, Jonathan Freilich is the founder and leader of The Naked Orchestra.

Continuum presents a program of early music from the Ars Subtilior period, a musical style characterized by rhythmic and notational complexity, centered in Paris, Avignon in southern France, and in northern Spain at the end of the 14th century. The style is found also in the French Cypriot repertory. The music of this period is highly refined, complex, very difficult to sing and perform, and probably was produced, sung and enjoyed by a small audience of specialists and connoisseurs. The recording used is: Ars Subtilior - Dawn of the Renaissance (Various performers) - Century 5 - Vol. 7.

On this Continuum you'll hear European polyphonic music of the 14th century which flourished in France and the Burgundian Low Countries. The Ars Nova can be described  as "new technique", or "style", following the Ars Antiqua style of the 13th century, particularly the style of the older Notre Dame school in Paris at that time. The recording used is: A Revolution in the Late Middle Ages (The Ars Nova) (Various performers) - Century 5 - Vol. 6.

This Continuum presents unique contemporary performances of medieval music in accordance with the modern revival of music from this period, hence the name, Neo-Medieval. The three ensembles are have been highly praised for their approaches to performing this music. All are different from each other but each gives excellent interpretations of the selections. Recordings used are: Sapphire Night  (Tapestry) - MDG 344 1193-2, Neo-Medieval (Hesperus) - Dorian DIS 80155, and Darkness Into Light (Anonymous 4) - Harmonia Mundi HMU 907274.

One of the most important early music manuscripts is the Las Huelgas Codex dating from around 1300. It originated and still remains in the Cistercian convent of Santa María la Real de Las Huelgas in Burgos, in northern Spain. The convent was a wealthy one which had connections with the royal family of Castile.

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