classical music

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 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.

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.

Claire Jones.
John Oakley

Farrar Hudkins speaks with Welsh-born harpist Claire Jones.


Quartetto di Cremona has been performing Beethoven’s string quartet repertoire regularly since 2014, when they performed the complete Beethoven quartet cycle in Milan. Riding the heels of that concert success, they went into the studio to record all of Beethoven’s quartets.

Continuum presents excepts of recordings by The Boston Camerata. The ensemble became very active beginning in 1974 under the direction of Joel Cohen and remains to be one of the oldest early music ensembles in the U.S. Besides the usual early music repertoire the ensemble also has recorded early New World American music, heard on this program.

The music of the two most important known medieval composers are featured on this Continuum, They are Guillaume de Machaut (1300-1377) and Guillaume Dufay (1397-1474). Machaut is the first known composer of music for a sacred liturgical mass and Dufay composed music that is considered the first important compositions leading into the Renaissance period. On the program are excerpts from Machaut’s Mass of Notre Dame and Dufay’s many secular music compositions.

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