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75010 Paris, France
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In association for
Season 2016-2017 with:
Aaron Concert Artists
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New York City 10039, NY / USA
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Sequentia is one of the world’s most respected and innovative ensembles for medieval music. It is an international group of singers and instrumentalists – united in Paris under the direction of the legendary performer and teacher Benjamin Bagby – dedicated to the performance and recording of Western European music from the period before 1300. The size and disposition of the ensemble is determined by the repertoire being performed, and ranges between an instrumental/vocal duo to a large vocal ensemble. Based on meticulous and original research, intensive rehearsal and long gestation, Sequentia’s virtuosic performances are compelling, surprising in their immediacy, and strike the listener with a timeless emotional connection to our own past musical cultures. More
Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy
After more than two decades of painstaking work on identifying the techniques used to set particular verse forms, research undertaken by Cambridge University’s Dr Sam Barrett has enabled him to reconstruct melodies from the rediscovered leaf of the 11th century ‘Cambridge Songs'. Sequentia (Benjamin Bagby, Hanna Marti and Norbert Rodenkirchen) presented the Boethian songs at a conert held in Cambridge on 23 April 2016. More
Reconstructing the Songs
A documentary charting the reconstruction of early medieval Latin song repertories and melodies for Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy with Sequentia and Dr Sam Barrett of the University of Cambridge.
Monks Singing Pagans
When we think of medieval monks and their musical lives, the first thing to come to mind is Gregorian chant, but a closer look at medieval monastic manuscripts from the 9th to 12th centuries shows that many monks were singing other songs as well, with texts which were sometimes anything but Christian. The medieval monastic and cathedral schools of medieval Europe were great centers of learning and focal points of intellectual life. For all monks and clerics, who were native speakers of European vernacular languages, it was essential to become bilingual, to speak, think, perhaps even to read and write in Latin, the language of their faith, the liturgy, the sciences, philosophy and literature. More
The Voyager: Medieval Songs of Exile, Wandering and Travel
In January 2015 Benjamin Bagby premiered a new solo program at the Musée de Cluny in Paris: the theme was travel and the songs of travellers in the Middle Ages. The live concert was filmed by Laurent Hadrien and a short film has been produced, with excerpts from the performance and added commentary by Bagby.
Beowulf at the Utrecht Early Music Festival
On 29-30 August, Benjamin Bagby celebrated the 25th anniversary of his first performance of Beowulf at the Utrecht Early Music Festival, performing again to sold-out houses in Utrecht's RASA Theatre. See the festival's promotional video in which Bagby appears to discuss his work:
Collected Stories: Hero
Bagby's Beowulf performed in Carnegie Hall, New York City
On 22 April Benjamin Bagby performed a version of Beowulf as part of a series of concerts curated by American composer David Lang.
This concert was listed among the 'Ten Best Classical Music Events of 2014' by the New York Times!
Hildegard von Bingen: Celestial Hierarchy
The final CD of Sequentia's Hildegard von Bingen complete works project was recorded for DHM/SONY in November 2012 in the church of Franc-Warêt, Belgium. It was released in May 2013 as a single CD. The completion of this enormous project, begun by Sequentia in 1982, represents the culmination of the life's work of the late Barbara Thornton and also celebrates Hildegard's elevation to sainthood and magistra ecclesiae in 2012. A multi-generational ensemble of women's voices plus the flautist Norbert Rodenkirchen was united under the direction of Benjamin Bagby for this unique recording whose title is 'Celestial Hierarchy'. More
Other Current Programs
Benjamin Bagby: voice, harp; Wolodymyr Smishkewych, voice; Norbert Rodenkirchen, flutes, cithara, harp.
In his new Sequentia programme, Benjamin Bagby explores the musical world of the Carolingian clan – and especially Charlemagne, who became emperor in 800 –, those warlike and pious Frankish kings whose realm, in the 8th century, stretched across what is now most of Western Europe. More
Fragments for the End of Time
In this program, we explore the musical world of these surprising, powerful texts, some of which survive only as fragments: the Old High German Muspilli, which describes the waking of the dead, the workings of Satan, the fight of Elias with Anti-Christ, the call to judgement, and warns of the uselessness of wealth and bribery in that final courtroom... More
02 July 2016
Cambridge University, Pembroke College Chapel, 19h30.
'The Consolation of Philosophy’. Continuing their project with musicologist Sam Barrett, the three musicians of Sequentia will present a full programme of Boethian song. A world premiere!
12-19 November 2016
USA tour (Seattle, Kansas City, Milwaukee)
Monks Singing Pagans
New program given birth at Cambridge University
Following working sessions in 2014-15 with musicologist Sam Barrett in the USA (Harvard University and Ohio State University) and in Cambridge (Pembroke College), Sequentia will be in residence at Cambridge University 15-24 April 2016 for the final rehearsals of the new program 'Monks Singing Pagans'. In addition to their rehearsals and working sessions on the songs of Boethius, Sequentia will give a one-day masterclass, and a performance of excerpts from the new program, to be given on 23 April in the Pembroke College Chapel.
The following day the three musicians of Sequentia will fly to the USA for the premiere performance of 'Monks Singing Pagans', to be given at Dartmouth College on 28 April.
Teaching in Basel
Benjamin Bagby will be teaching again in Basel, Switzerland, at his alma mater, the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, on 31 October and 01 November 2016.
Beowulf in Russia
On 8 September 2015, Benjamin Bagby performed Beowulf for the first time in the Russian Federation, in the Tchaikowsky Conservatory in Moscow. Following this, Bagby coached an ensemble of Moscow early music performers for the festival La Renaissance, in preparation for their Russian premiere of the 'Roman de Fauvel' on 12 September in Moscow. For this significant event, Bagby was working with Russian instrumentalists Ivan Velikanov, Danil Ryabchikov and French vocalist Marc Mauillon.