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Mystical Voices of Mediæval Germany
Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179): Celestial Hierarchy
SEQUENTIA ENSEMBLE FOR MEDIÆVAL MUSIC:
Benjamin Bagby director, harp
Norbert Rodenkirchen flutes & harp
SEQUENTIA WOMEN’S VOCAL ENSEMBLE:
Agnethe Christensen, Lydia Heather Knutson, Esther Labourdette,
Sabine Lutzenberger, Christine Mothes, Elodie Mourot, Lena Susanne Norin
In the World Premiere of this new progamme, Sequentia presents a selection of the most innovative and expressive vocal music of the High Middle Ages in Germany, featuring masterpieces of the 12th-century Benedictine visionary and composer Hildegard von Bingen.
Founded in 1977 by Benjamin Bagby and the late Barbara Thornton, Sequentia is among world’s most respected and innovative ensembles for mediæval music. Under the direction of Benjamin Bagby, Sequentia can look back on almost 37 years of international concert tours, a comprehensive discography spanning the entire Middle Ages (including the complete works of Hildegard von Bingen), film and television productions of mediæval music drama, and new generations of young performers trained in professional courses given by members of the ensemble.
Sequentia has performed throughout Western and Eastern Europe, the Americas, India, the Middle East, East Asia, Africa and Australia, and has received numerous prizes (including a Disque d’Or, several Diapasons d’Or, two Edison Prizes, the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis and a Grammy nomination) for many of its thirty recordings on the BMG/Deutsche Harmonia Mundi (SONY), Raumklang and Marc Aurel Edition labels. In 2013 Sequentia released on the SONY label the final CD of Hildegard von Bingen’s complete works: Celestial Hierarchy, which received a Diapason d'Or in France. The complete works of Hildegard as recorded by Sequentia (9 CDs) will be released by SONY in 2014. Other recent CD releases feature reconstructions of music from lost oral traditions of the Middle Ages (The Lost Songs Project), including 9th and 10th century Germanic songs for the Apocalypse (Fragments for the End of Time), the ensemble’s acclaimed programme of music from the Icelandic Edda: The Rheingold Curse, as well as the earliest-known European songs (Lost Songs of a Rhineland Harper) and mediæval liturgical chant (Chant Wars, a co-production with the Paris-based ensemble Dialogos). Sequentia has created over 70 innovative concert programmes that encompass the entire spectrum of mediæval music, giving performances all over the world, in addition to their creation of music-theater projects such as Hildegard von Bingen’s Ordo Virtutum, the Cividale Planctus Marie, the Bordesholmer Marienklage, Heinrich von Meissen’s Frauenleich, and the mediæval Icelandic Edda. The work of the ensemble is divided between a small touring ensemble of vocal and instrumental soloists, and a larger ensemble of men's or women's voices for the performance of chant and polyphony. After many years based in Cologne, Germany, Sequentia’s home was re-established in Paris in 2003.