the End of Time
Hildegard von Bingen:
More than 30 recordings
Awards for Recordings
Edison Award, 1987 & 1998
Hildegard von Bingen (7 CDs)
Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, 1993
CHOC - Le Monde de la Musique, 2002
Diapason d'Or, 1995 & 1999
Sequentia's best-selling CD,
Canticles of Ecstasy,
has sold more than one million copies worldwide and was
nominated for a Grammy Award as
Best Choral Recording.
Benjamin Bagby Vocalist, harper and scholar Benjamin Bagby has been an important figure in the field of Medieval musical performance for more than 30 years.The years since 1977 have been almost uniquely devoted to the work of Sequentia. Mr. Bagby created more than 70 innovative concert programs of medieval music and music drama, giving performances in Western and Eastern Europe, North & South America, North and West Africa, the Middle East, Japan, Korea, and Australia. In 1981, the ensemble began to release the first of many LP's and CD's which encompass the entire spectrum of Medieval musical practice.
For all of these recordings, which were researched and assembled by Bagby and Thornton, the accompanying booklets are appreciated for their rigourous scholarly quality, with great attention to detail, to the sources, and to the work of philologists (such as Peter Dronke, Pierre Bec, Heimir Pálsson and Ulrich Mueller) who collaborated on the textual editions. In addition, Sequentia projects witnessed collaboration with musicologists such as Leo Treitler, Edward Roesner, Harmut Möller and Richard Crocker.
The most recent CD releases of Sequentia (Edda: Myths from Medieval Iceland; The Rheingold Curse; Lost Songs of a Rhineland Harper and Fragments for the End of Time) are based solely on the research of Benjamin Bagby, reflecting his interest in oral poetry and the use of traditional music in reconstructing ancient modal vocabularies. They are grouped under the banner ‘The Lost Songs Project.’
Bagby also directs the Sequentia men’s vocal ensemble for the performance of medieval liturgical polyphony and chant, which traces it beginnings to the mid-1980’s. The major project for the men’s voices in 2003-4 was a collaboration – entitled Chant Wars – between Sequentia and the Parisian ensemble Dialogos (dir., Katarina Livljanic). The CD of this program was released by Sony-BMG (DHM label) in 2005. In 2009, he created a new men’s vocal ensemble in Paris, which has toured extensively.
Apart from the research and ensemble work of Sequentia, Mr. Bagby devotes his time to the solo performance of Anglo-Saxon and Germanic oral poetry; an acclaimed performance of the Beowulf epic is an ongoing project, with performances given yearly worldwide, and a DVD production released in 2007.
Bagby led ensemble and audience on an inner journey toward the mysteries of humanity's relationship with the infinite. These seven men sing with full voices and hearts. The sound of them in perfect unison in the sinuous traceries of chant is like cold water to a thirsty soul.
Marvelous is the way Benjamin Bagby—the show's prime mover and principal narrator—delivers his material with such evident relish. Words of bargain and bloodshed slip from his mouth like polished jewels, he keeps a fresh smile at the wonder of it all.
New York Times
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. 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.
Founded by Benjamin Bagby and the late Barbara Thornton, Sequentia can look back on almost 40 years of international concert tours, performing throughout Europe, North and South America, India, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Australia. Sequentia has brought to life over seventy innovative concert programs that encompass the entire spectrum of medieval music, in addition to the creation of music-theater projects such as Hildegard von Bingen’s Ordo Virtutum, the Cividale Planctus Marie, the Bordesholmer Marienklage, and Heinrich von Meissen’s Frauenleich (several of which were filmed for television). The work of the ensemble is divided between a small touring ensemble of vocal and instrumental soloists, and a larger ensemble of voices for the performance of Latin liturgical chant and polyphony.
Sequentia’s comprehensive discography spans the entire Middle Ages. In 1981, the ensemble began to release the first of many LP's and CD's which encompass the entire spectrum of Medieval musical practice.
The past years have seen a growing corpus of Sequentia performances and recordings centered on the importance of oral tradition, story-telling, and the earliest musical documents of medieval Europe. These programmes are all grouped under the banner of ‘The Lost Songs Project’ and have their roots in the ground-breaking work which Bagby has done with his reconstruction of the Anglo-Saxon Beowulf epic.
In 2002, Sequentia released an acclaimed 2-CD set of sung tales from medieval Iceland: The Rheingold Curse: A Germanic Saga of Greed and Vengeance from the Medieval Icelandic Edda, on the Marc Aurel Edition label. Other recent programs, such as Lost Songs of a Rhineland Harper (released on the BMG Classics/DHM label in 2004), and Chant Wars, (SONY-BMG / 2005, a co-production with the Parisian ensemble Dialogos) have received wide international critical acclaim. The most recent recording, Fragments for the End of Time, featuring apocalyptic songs from early Medieval Germany, Saxony and Aquitaine, was released on the Raumklang label in 2008.
Benjamin Bagby / Sequentia
Representation (Exclusive of Europe)
In association with Aaron Concert Artists ( 2016-2017 only)
Aaron Concert Artists
220 West 148th St. 4J
New York City 10039, NY / USA