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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 21, 2012
CONTACT: Kathleen Fay, Executive Director
617-661-1812 |

MEDIA ALERT: Boston Early Music Festival presents Sequentia duo in a program exploring haunting apocalyptic texts from over one thousand years ago.


Sequentia (France)
Benjamin Bagby, voice, harps, & symphonia
Norbert Rodenkirchen, flutes & harp


Saturday, March 3, 2012 at 8pm
Houghton Chapel at Wellesley College
106 Central Street, Wellesley, MA
A co-presentation with the Concert Series at Wellesley


Fragments for the End of Time

Fortis atque amara (9th century)
...sin tac piqueme, daz er touuan scal (early 9th century)
Unsar trohtin hat farsalt (late 9th c.)
Thes habet er ubar woroltring (Alsace, †875)
Gaude coelestis sponsa (9th c.)
Thaer waes swylcra fela (Anglo-Saxon, ca. 8th c.)
Occidentana (Reconstruction: N. Rodenkirchen)
Iudicii signum (Aquitaine, 11th c.)
Scalam ad caelos (Reconstruction: Bagby and Rodenkirchen)
Summi regis archangele Michahel (Einsiedeln, 10th c.)
A fellr austan um eitrdala (Iceland, 10th c.)

TICKETS: Tickets priced at $25 each and can be purchased at WWW.BEMF.ORG and 617-661-1812; free tickets are available to all students, seniors, and members of the Wellesley community by calling 617-661-1812. Subscription discounts of 10% are available with the purchase of three or more programs.

The legendary Medieval Music ensemble Sequentia has been performing with BEMF regularly since the 1989 Festival. They return to the BEMF stage as a duo featuring Director Benjamin Bagby alongside Norbert Rodernkirchen in an exploration of music based on apocalyptic texts from over one thousand years ago. This rare glimpse into an archaic musical world sees darkly theatrical songs mingle with folk melodies in a program of enthralling and exotic storytelling.

Benjamin Bagby describes the program thusly, “From the time of Christianity’s introduction into Europe until the end of the first millennium, apocalyptic images of the End of Days and the Last Judgment were widespread, both in texts and in the visual arts. The image of the Apocalypse which most readily comes to mind is associated with the almost incomprehensible mystery of the ‘end of time’, filled with terror and destruction. But the Greek word apokalypsis actually means unveiling, or revelation, an image strongly linked to our mortal desire for access to the mysteries of existence, to our almost physical longing for union with creation and with the deity. In all these senses of the word, medieval artists created an especially powerful body of sung poetry, often in obscure images and language, visionary and prophetic, to prepare the singer and listener alike for a particular inner voyage of comprehension, and to awaken the soul to the ‘experience of ‘seeing’ that which is one day to be revealed. In this program, we explore the musical world of these surprising, powerful texts, some of which survive only as fragments.”

Founded in 1977 in Cologne, Germany by Benjamin Bagby and Barbara Thornton, Sequentia is among world’s most respected and innovative ensembles for medieval music. Under the direction of Benjamin Bagby, Sequentia can look back on more than three decades 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 medieval music drama, and a new generation of young performers trained in professional courses given by members of the ensemble. In March, Sequentia will celebrate its 35th year of existence. Sequentia has performed throughout Western and Eastern Europe, the Americas, India, the Middle East, East Asia, Africa and Australia, and has received numerous prizes for many of its thirty recordings. Sequentia has created over 70 innovative concert programs that encompass the entire spectrum of medieval music, giving performances all over the world.

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Recognized as the preeminent early music presenter and Baroque opera producer in North America, the Boston Early Music Festival has been credited with securing Boston’s reputation as “America’s early music capital” (The Boston Globe). Founded in 1981, the Boston Early Music Festival offers diverse programs and activities, including three Grammy-nominated opera recordings, an annual concert series that brings early music’s brightest stars to the Boston and New York concert stages, and a biennial week-long Festival and Exhibition recognized as the “world’s leading festival of early music” (The Times, London). The 17th Boston Early Music Festival is planned for June 9–16, 2013.

The 2011–2012 Boston Early Music Festival Concert Series is presented with support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, National Endowment for the Arts, ConstellationCenter, 99.5 All Classical, Harpsichord Clearing House, Zuckermann Harpsichords International, The Gregory E. Bulger Foundation, U. S. Trust/Bank of America Private Wealth Management, and GTC Law Group.

For more information, images, press tickets, or to schedule an interview, please contact Kathleen Fay at 617-661-1812 or email