Visions from the Book

Visions from the Book
Sequentia - Benjamin Bagby
Deutsche Harmonia Mundi (BMG) 05472 77347 2 [CD]


  1. Anon (mid 13th c.): Samson dux fortissime (lai)
  2. Anon (early 13th c.): A deserto veniens (conductus à 2)
  3. Peter Abelard: Dolorum solatium (planctus)
  4. Anon (14th c., Bavaria): Liber generationis (chant)
  5. Emoul de Gastinois (mid 13th c.): S'onques hom en liu s'asist (lai)
  6. Anon (14th c., Dublin): Omnis caro peccaverat (lai)
  7. Anon (14th c., Bavaria): Syon egredere nunc de cubilibus (dance-lai)

Sources (text edition):
[1]-[4], [6]-[7] Peter Dronke (Cambridge), copyright 1994
[5] Gaston Zink (Paris), copyright 1994

Sources (music):
[1] London, British Library, Harley 978, fol. 2
[2] Wolfenbüttel, Herzog August Bibliothek, Helmsted 628, fol. 126
[3] Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale NAL 3126, fol. 88v
[4] München, Bayerische Staatbibiothek, Clm 5539, fol. 87
[5] Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale fr. 12615, fol. 63v
[6] Cambridge, University Library, Add. 710, fol. 126
[7] München, Bayerische Staatbibiothek, Clm 5539, fol. 161

Playing time: 74'

Sequentia, Ensemble für Musik des Mittelalters
Sequentia men's vocal ensemble (Sons of Thunder): Benjamin Bagby (voice, medieval harp), Stephen Grant (voice), Paul Guttry (voice), William Hite (voice), Frank Kelley (voice), Eric Mentzel (voice), Sanford Sylvan (voice)
Barbara Thornton (voice), Elizabeth Gaver (medieval fiddle)
Barbara Thornton & Benjamin Bagby, dirs.

Recording site and date:
Campion Center, Weston, MA, USA [11/1994];
Rel.: 1996

[7] RCA "Red Seals" 82876 60986 2 [CDx4] Trésors - Moyen-Âge

This recording is focused primarily on monophonic Latin songs derived from Biblical stories. It provides a nice glimpse into the wide array of such poetry & music from the era.

This sort of musical activity also found outlet in the liturgical dramas of the period, the most famous of which was the Play of Daniel. A recording citation, leading to more discussion of these medieval plays:

Ludus Danielis
The Harp Consort - Andrew Lawrence-King
Deutsche Harmonia Mundi 77395

In this case, many similar style Latin lyrics combine into a dramatic presentation in the general festivity of the days on which such programs would be performed.

Other recordings which feature some interesting items in the general "medieval lyrics" genre:

Ultima Lacrima
Chants spirituels du Moyen Age, IXe-XIIIe siècles
Gérard Le Vot
Studio SM 2602
Monastic Song
12-Century Monophonic Chant - Peter Abelard
Theatre of Voices - Paul Hillier
Harmonia Mundi USA 907209
De Profundis
Déplorations sacrées de la tradition occidentale
Ensemble Venance Fortunat - Anne-Marie Deschamps
Solstice 48
Carmina Gallica
Latin songs from the XIIth c.
Diabolus in Musica - Antoine Guerber
Alpha 037
A Golden Treasury of Mediæval Music
Sine Nomine
Amon Ra 63
El Cantar de mio Çid, Vol. 1
Antoni Rossell
Saga 10.945

The second program above is devoted primarily to Peter Abelard (1079-1142), the most famous composer of monophonic Latin from the era.

A recording of even earlier material:

Fragments for the End of Time
Raum Klang 2803

And a program by the present ensemble ranging even farther afield:

Myths from medieval Iceland
Deutsche Harmonia Mundi 77381

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Todd M. McComb