Sequentia (music group)

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Sequentia is an early music ensemble, founded in 1977 by Benjamin Bagby and the late Barbara Thornton (died 8 November 1998). The group specializes mainly in Medieval music. Sequentia focuses particularly on music with texts, specifically chants and other stories with music, such as the Icelandic Edda. They are interested in the interplay between drama and music, and sometimes do partially staged performances, such as that of Hildegard of Bingen's Ordo Virtutum. Bagby and Thornton have both been active in original research on the projects they perform.

History[edit]

Originally formed in Basle in 1977, the group moved to Cologne, Germany, in the same year (Neumann 1998; Zahn 2001). The group would work from Cologne for more than twenty years; in 2002, it relocated to Paris.

In 1977, while still at Basle, Thornton and Bagby, together with the group Studio der frühen Musik and some associated singers, staged two 12th century miracle plays relating to St Nicholas; the plays were taken on tour and a live recording from a performance in Amsterdam was put out the following year on an LP entitled Ludi Sancti Nicolai ("Plays of St.Nicholas"; EMI Electrola, 1978). Although the singers involved used the name "Ensemble Vocale Guillaume Dufay", this experimental staging of two church dramas can be regarded as the debut record of Sequentia; the dramatic and angular vocal style and the approach to partly improvised instrumentation already has much in common with their later recordings.

The only long-term members of Sequentia have been Benjamin Bagby, Barbara Thornton, and Katarina Livljanic after Thornton's death. The rest of the members are hired according to the needs of the particular project.

They mainly record on the Deutsche Harmonia Mundi label (Weber 2001).

Discography[edit]

  • Ludi Sancti Nicolai (1978, as Ensemble Vocale Guillaume Dufay, with Studio der frühen Musik)
  • Spielmann und Kleriker (1981, subtitled Minstrels and Clerics and Jongleurs et Clerics)
  • Trouvères. Courtly love songs from Northern France (1982)
  • Wandering Satirists of Medieval Germany (1982)
  • Philippe le Chancelier: School of Notre Dame (1986)
  • English Songs of the Middle Ages (1987)
  • Philippe de Vitry: Motets and Chansons (1988)
  • Vox Iberica:
    • I: Sons of Thunder. Music for St. James the apostle. Codex Calixtinus, 12th century (1989)
    • II: Codex Las Huelgas (1989)
    • III: El Sabio. Songs for King Alfonso X of Castile and Léon (1991)
  • Frauenlob. Heinrich von Meissen (1990)
  • The Bordesholm Lament of the Virgin Mary (1992)
  • Oswald von Wolkenstein: Songs (1993)
  • Dante and the Troubadours (1993)
  • Visions from the Book (1994)
  • Shining Light. Christmas Music from Aquitanien Monasteries (1996)
  • Aquitania. Christmas Musik from Aquitanien Monasteries (1994/96)
  • Hildegard von Bingen: Complete Edition
    • Symphoniae. Spiritual Songs (1982/83)
    • Canticles of Ecstasy (1993)
    • Voice of the Blood (1994)
    • O Jerusalem (1995)
    • Ordo Virtutum (1982, re-recorded 1998)
    • Saints (1996)
    • Celestial Hierarchy (2013)
  • Edda. Myths from Medieval Iceland (1996)
  • The Rheingold Curse (2001)
  • Lost Songs of a Rhineland Harper (2004)
  • Chant Wars (2004)
  • Fragments for the End of Time / Endzeitfragmente (2008)
  • Hildegard von Bingen: Celestial Hierarchy (2013)

See also[edit]

Sources[edit]

  • Neumann, Klaus L. 1999. "Barbara Thornton, 1950–98". Early Music 27, no. 1 (February): 169.
  • Tick, Judith. 2001. "Women in Music, §I: Historiography". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition, edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell. London: Macmillan Press.
  • Weber, Jerome F. 2001. "Harmonia Mundi". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition, edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell. London: Macmillan Press.
  • Zahn, Robert von. 2001. "Cologne". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition, edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell. London: Macmillan Press.

External links[edit]