Music from the medieval European northlands
THU & FRI, APRIL 15 & 16, 2021 at 8 pm
A Concert by Ben Bagby and Sequentia
Ben Bagby and the musicians of Sequentia present an intense new program of charms, riddles, and elegies by their medieval ancestors, the Anglo-Saxons and the Germanic tribes of the European northlands. Using some of the oldest surviving sources known to us, this unforgettable evening will bring to life ancient pagan songs of magic, of the life-giving powers of herbs, of exile and the uncertainty of life, featuring 6-string Germanic and triangular harps, wooden and swan-bone flutes, and voice.
The program will include performances of the following:
• Old English riddles;
• the Anglo-Saxon magic Charm of Nine Herbs, a story of healing;
• from the Old Icelandic ‘Edda’, the Song of Grotti’s Millstone: two giant slave-girls are forced to grind out magical wealth for King Grotti, until they rebel…
• Deor, the lament of a tribal singer no longer favored by his chieftain;
• the Wanderer: a powerful song of lonely travel in icy winter, fate, and regret;
• Wulf and Eadwacer: the mysterious lament of a woman cut off from her man;
• some of the oldest recorded songs of the German-speaking peoples.
More about Sequentia:
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.