Friday January 10, 2020 | 7:30PM (Pre-concert talk at 6:45PM)
Christ Church Cathedral
For this intense new program, vocalist and harper Benjamin Bagby will be joined by his Sequentia colleagues Norbert Rodenkirchen, Hanna Marti and Stef Conner, for a program of riddles, charms and elegies of their medieval ancestors, the Anglo-Saxons and the Germanic tribes of the European Northlands.
These are songs of magic, healing, exile, of the uncertainty of fate, of a wandering poet/singer searching for a patron, funeral songs and celebrations of life-giving magic herbs. Their sources are varied: the Old English Beowulf epic, the Old Icelandic poetic Edda, and the few poems surviving in ancient songbooks such as The Exeter Book. Each of these songs is a glimpse into another time far from ours, and into the souls of poets, warriors, valkyries and seeresses, bards and philosophers, whose creations were the first to be written down in English and other Germanic languages. In addition to songs in English, there will be Old High German and Old Icelandic songs of conjuring, magic, and lament as well. The world of the pagan medieval north, just turning to Christianity, will be explored, using the oldest sources known to us today. The featured instruments will include 6-string Germanic harps, triangular harps, wooden flutes and a swan-bone flute.