Sequentia

Ensemble for Medieval Music. Benjamin Bagby, Director

English | Français
Sequentia celebrates its 40th anniversary in March 2017
 
 

Contact

E-mail: info@sequentia.org

Representation
(Europe)

Katja Zimmermann
VCzimmermann@gmx.net

Representation
(exclusive of Europe)

Seth Cooper
Seth Cooper Arts Inc.
4592 Hampton Ave.
Montréal, QC, Canada
www.sethcooperarts.com
sethcooper.arts@gmail.com
Tel: 514-467-5052

 

Follow us on Facebook

Programs

Fragments for the End of Time

Unsar trohtin hat farsalt

Instrumental version of the Freisinger Petruslied, Bavaria (late 9th century)
Source: München, Bayr. Staatsb. Clm 6260, fol. 158v. / Transcription: N. Rodenkirchen

This processional with refrain is one of the oldest surviving melodies found in a German source. The manuscript is neumed throughout, making a transcription possible.

Thes habet er ubar woroltring

‚De die Iudicii’ from the ‚Gospel Book’ of Otfrid von Weissenburg (Alsace, †875)
Source: Heidelberg, Cod.Pal.lat. 52 / Reconstruction: B. Bagby

This heartfelt description of the final judgement is taken from the Evangelienbuch of the Alsatian monk Otfrid von Weissenburg (the first German poet whose name we know), who wrote commentaries and paraphrases on the Gospels in the local German dialect (which he calls Frankish) of his fellow brothers and the nearby noblemen. In a prologue, he states that a pious matron named Judith urged him on in this work. These verses were not intended for silent reading, but were probably ‚performed’ before a partially pre-literate audience in the style of the Germanic oral poetry long appreciated by learned men and women. Several manuscript sources of this text contain musical notation. Here, in an excerpt from the chapter entitled in die iudicii (‚on the Judgement Day’), we experience Otfrid’s very personal involvement with the terrifying story he has to tell.

Text

For the entire world a judgement day has been set, before a powerful court, and we must fear it. I say this loudly: there will be no one who can avoid appearing before this court!

[Refrain]: On that day of judgement it will go well for those who need not worry about their past deeds, and against whom in that hour no accusation can be brought; for them, protection and a path to safety will still be possible!

Even those wretches who have lived on earth just as they pleased, they too will have to appear. It’s difficult for me to say this: all who were born of woman must be present (my heart is terrified at the thought!), to account for their deeds, one after the other, without exception. A woeful judgement day! [Refrain]

There will be no help, believe me, for anyone; nor will anyone be able to escape. Everyone who is convicted there will suffer the eternal pain of hell’s punishment. [Refrain]

Do you know what the prophet of the Lord says about this time? He says there will be great agony. You can read his words: it is a day of anger, of struggle, of suffering and countless terrors. On that day the angels will loudly blow their horns, which will resound over the earth to awaken the dead. [Refrain]

It is the day of storms and darkness – woe!  All sinners will be swept away. What more can I possibly say? It is a day of immense suffering. [Refrain]

Have you read the prophesies, which tell how the Lord will appear threateningly from above, and shake the heavens,? What man on earth could then resist, when the Lord causes even the heavens to quake?  Keep this image in your mind: He will fold up the heavens with His powerful hand, like a book snapped shut. [Refrain]

Truly, this day can be compared with no other, and there can be no thought of escaping it. There will be no way to quickly make a secret plan of evasion; even the smallest thought will become known, this is certain! [Refrain].

Translation: B. Bagby (based on Gisela Vollmann-Profe)

Watch a recording from Jaroslaw, Poland, 2009

Upcoming Concerts

11 May 2019
Trollhättan Early Music Festival, Sweden
Beowulf

12 June 2019
Boston Early Music Festival (USA)
Charms, Riddles and Elegies of the Medieval Northlands

16 June 2019
Putney, VT (USA), Yellow Barn Festival
Beowulf

See full concert schedule

 

News

Benjamin Bagby's teaching activities in 2019

In March 2019, Benjamin will give two weekend courses on the solo songs of Philippe le Chancelier (d. 1236). The courses are being hosted by the Centre de Musique Médiévale de Paris. Dates: 9-10 and 30-31 March.
More information

After retiring from his teaching position at the University of Paris - Sorbonne, where he taught between 2005 and 2018 in the professional masters program, Benjamin Bagby continues to travel widely in 2019 to teach practical workshops for young professionals:

Folkwang Universität der Künste (Essen-Werden, Germany).
Benjamin has joined the faculty of this renowned masters program for liturgical chant performance and medieval music. The dates of his courses in 2019: 5-7 April; 26-28 April; 17-19 May; 30 May–01 June.
More information

For the second year in a row, Benjamin will teach an intensive course in the 8th International Course on Medieval Music Performance (Besalú, Spain): Songs of the troubadours (for singers and instrumentalists).
More information

Amherst Early Music Festival (Connecticut College, New London CT) 21-28 July:
An intensive course on the solo cansos of the Occitan troubadours, with a focus on songs from the great Milan songbook Bibl. Ambr. R71 sup. (for singers and instrumentalists).
More information

More news