(exclusive of Europe)
In association for
Season 2016-2017 with:
Aaron Concert Artists
220 West 148th St. 4J
New York City 10039, NY / USA
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Fragments for the End of Time
Fortis atque amara
Frankish sequence (9th century)
Source: Paris, B.N. lat. 1084 / transcription Alejandro Planchart.
The Frankish sequences – newly-created pieces whose role in the liturgy is not always clear to us – were often creations of great beauty and imagination. Some of their melodies may have roots in earlier traditions, and the texts also display a succinct virtuosity, cleverly incorporating imagery from earlier Christian writers in new and surprising ways. This apocalyptic sequence, with its unusual melody, introduces most of the themes in our program.
Full of might and bitter that day shall be, on which all things shall perish: what is seen in bodily form, the earth, and all the creatures that swim.
The gentle judge will draw near, to measure out punishment strictly, and he will judge the ages, he whom created all. The high column of heaven will begin to tremble at his nod. Oh memorable day, on which all things shall be laid open!
And what shall become of the scribe’s mark, what of the tablet, if the column of the sky shall begin to be so afraid? And what shall human beings feel, or earth’s creatures, if the hosts of the heavens shall begin to tremble so?
Oh you who as King lavish all things upon us – the eternal, the present – do not let us go into hell’s loathsome places, the dwellings of the devils – no, lead us to the angels’ realms! Amen.
Translation: Peter Dronke
17 March 2017
Basel (CH) Predigerkirche, Freunde Alte Musik
Monks Singing Pagans
25 March – 2 April 2017
Lafayette College, Vassar College, Princeton University, Yale University
Benjamin Bagby Beowulf tour USA
1 April 2017
New York City, Symphony Space
Book release event for ‘The Inquisitor’s Tale’
11 May 2017
Paris, Université de Paris – Sorbonne, Amphithéâtre Richelieu
Benjamin Bagby has recorded the only surviving Old High German epic fragment, the Hildebrandslied (The Song of Hildebrand), for inclusion in an audiobook version of Adam Gidwitz’s new book for children and young adults, The Inquisitor’s Tale, just released by Penguin/Random House. He also recorded harp accompaniments to go with portions of the reading of the story. A release event is being schedule for New York City in early April, 2017.
New program given birth at Cambridge University
Following working sessions in 2014-15 with University of Cambridge musicologist Sam Barrett in the USA (Harvard University and Ohio State University) and in Cambridge (Pembroke College), Sequentia was in residence at Cambridge in April for the final rehearsals of the new program 'Monks Singing Pagans'. An informal video of a rehearsal made by the university became a YouTube sensation, with over 500,000 views. In addition to their rehearsals and working sessions on the songs of Boethius, Sequentia gave a masterclass and the premiere performance of 'Monks Singing Pagans', immediately followed by the US premiere during a residency at Dartmouth College (USA). The week spent at Dartmouth included teaching activities in music history, performance practice, Latin poetry and manuscript studies. Sequentia returned to Cambridge in late June to prepare a special program of the Boethian songs, which was given as part of a symposium on medieval Latin song, with a special concert on 2 July in Pembroke College Chapel.
Teaching in Basel and Milano
Benjamin Bagby will be teaching performance courses on medieval song at two music academies this year:
Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (Basel, Switzerland): 31 October to 1 November 2016 and 13-14 March 2017
Scuola Civica di Musica Claudio Abbado (Milano, Italy): 2-3 December 2016 and 16-18 February 2017