Sequentia: a CD discography

September 1, 2017. To quote their own website, http://www.sequentia.org/, Sequentia, founded in 1977 by Benjamin Bagby and the much-lamented Barbara Thornton (1950-1998) , “is one of the world’s most respected and innovative ensembles for medieval music. It is an international group of singers and instrumentalists (…) dedicated to the performance and recording of Western European music from the period before 1300. The size and disposition of the ensemble is determined by the repertoire being performed, and ranges between an instrumental/vocal duo to a large vocal ensemble. Based on meticulous and original research, intensive rehearsal and long gestation, Sequentia’s virtuosic performances are compelling , surprising in their immediacy, and strike the listener with a timeless emotional connection to our own past musical cultures”. To this I’ll add that, starting with their recording of Ordo Virtutum in 1982 – only their second recording – followed by seven more (including a remake in 1998), they were essential in the rediscovery of the music of Hildegard von Bingen, and that the music they perform, or (and) the way they perform it, is sublime, an adumbration of an otherworldly, eternal bliss.

I am much indebted to the discography of the regretted Pierre F. Roberge on Medieval.org (in general THE essential resource on Medieval music discography), but I’ve filled a few gaps, added some minutiae about the intricacies of BMG’s American vs European editions, indicated the chronology of release of each edition and provided the barcodes to make the CDs easy to find on your usual commercial website. Sequentia’s website also includes a complete discography, from which I’ve gleaned useful information, but it is less informative than Roberge’s discography. There’s also another fine website for medieval music with great resources on Sequentia’s discography, Sonusantiqua.org, and they’ve given me access to the cover photos of some of the original CD releases when they were missing on the customary commercial websites.

The discography is organized by chronological order of recording (publications were sometimes delayed – in one case, if my information is correct, by as much as ten years -, copyright year is given in parantheses). Label is Deutsche Harmonia Mundi unless otherwise indicated. Label numbering and barcoding of DHM changes over time because it was distributed by or became part of different organizations, first EMI (CDC and CMS label numbering), then BMG (GD77XXX for the European editions and 77XXX-2-RC or RD the US editions, then a unified 05472 77XXX 2), then Sony. I have listed the licensed editions from The Musical Heritage Society and the Japanese editions when I have found them, but have not systematically looked for them, so I very well may be missing some. I list the compilations and collections at the end.

The titles linked are those I’ve reviewed.

CDC 7 49704 2 Spielmann und Kleriker um 1200 / Minstrels and Clerics / Jongleurs et Clercs. Rec. 6/80 (CD release 1988?), barcode 077774970426
from LP 1C 067-99 921 T (1981)

CDS 7 49249 8 (2 CD) Hildegard Von Bingen: Ordo Virtutum. Rec. 6/82 (CD release 1987) bc 077774924986
from LP 1C 165-99 942/43 T (1982), Harmonia Mundi HM 20 395/96 (1982).
Roberge also lists, as first LP issue, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi (distribution BASF) DHL 20 395/96 RG (note that it is the same label numbering as the French Harmonia Mundi release), but I have yet to find an online photo to double-check the information
Reissued (1990) Editio Classica GD77051 (bc 0035627705120) / 77051-2-RG (bc 054727705120)

CDS 7 49387 2 (2 CDs CDC 7 49388 2–CDC 7 49389 2) Trouvères – Höfische liebeslieder aus Nordfrankreich / Courtly Love Songs from Northern France / Chansons d’amour du Nord de la France um/c/vers 1175-1300. Rec. 7/82 (CD release 1987) bc 077774938723
These are substantial excerpts from Deutsche Harmonia mundi 1C 3LP 157 1695013 (3 LP box). See full track listing on Medieval.org
Reissued (1990) RD77155 (bc 0035627715525) / 77155-2-RC (bc 054727715525)
, (2009) 88697 56832 2 (bc 886975683222)

CDC 7 49705 2 Spruchdichter um 1250 / Wandering Satirists in Medieval Germany / Poètes gnomiques vers 1250 (Schola Cantorum Basiliensis Documenta). Rec. 11/82 (CD release 198?), bc 077774970525
from LP 1C 069 1999941 (1983) For cover photos see Sonusantiqua.org.

CDC 7 49251 2 Hildegard von Bingen: Symphoniae, Geistliche Gesänge / Spiritual Songs. Rec. 6/83 (CD release 1987), bc 077774925129
From LP Harmonia Mundi (distribution BASF) 74321 20 198-2 (1983), LP 1C 067 199976 1 (1985), barcode 5099919997612
As with the early DHM/BASF release of Ordo Virtutum listed by Roberge, I still need to find confirming evidence for 74321 20 198-2. I am puzzled that Roberge lists it as “Harmonia Mundi” rather than “Deutsche Harmonia Mundi”
Also issued on Deutsche Harmonia Mundi HM 745 “Musica Medicina – Symphonialis Est Anima” (1985), in cooperation with ICI-Pharma Heidelberg, part of a series on “Kunst und Krankheit” (Art and Illness).

Reissued (1989) Editio Classica GD77020 (bc 0035627702020) / 77020-2-RG (bc 054727702020), (1997) RD77020 (same label number and barcode as above but different cover, not Edition Classica),  collection “Splendeurs” (2004) 82876 60152 2 (bc 828766015225)
Also reissued (1994) under the title “A Vision of Paradise”, DHM/BMG 74321 201982 (bc 743212019827)
Note: not to be confused with “Visions of Paradise” (2009) – see below
Also reissued (1995) Musical Heritage Society 513813H (bc 717794381320),

GD77035 (bc 0035627703522) / 77035-2-RC (bc 054727703522) Philippe Le Chancelier. Rec. 11/86 (1991)
Reissued (2004) collection “Splendeurs” 82876 60156 2

CDC 7 49192 2 English Songs of the Middle Ages. Rec. 6/87 (1988) bc 077774919227
Reissued Editio Classica (1989) GD77019 (bc 0035627701924) / 77019-2-RG (bc 054727701924)
Also (1997?) Musical Heritage Society 514451M (bc 717794445121), Japanese edition (2008) BVCD-38171 (bc 4988017658277)

RD77095 (0035627709524) / 77095-2-RC (054727709524) Philippe de Vitry Motets et Chansons. Rec. 3-4/88 (1991)
Reissued (2005) collection “Splendeurs” 82876 68351 2 (bc 828766835120)

05472 77238 2 Vox Iberica II – Codex Las Huelgas (Gesänge aus dem königlichen Konvent Las Huelgas de Burgos, 13/14 Jh. / Music from the royal convent of Las Huelgas de Burgos, 13th/14th Cent.). Rec. 5/89 (1992) bc 054727723827

RD77199 (bc 0035627719929) / 05472-77199-2 (bc 054727719929) Vox Iberica I: Donnersöhne / Sons of Thunder – Gesänge für den HL. Iakobus / Music for St. James the Apostle – Codex Calixtinus Santiago de Compostela 12th Century. Rec. 11/89 (1992)

05472 77309 2 Heinrich von Meissen: Frauenlob. Rec. 3/90 (2000) bc 054727730924
“Released after digital restoration and remastering”
Also with Barbara Newman’s book on von Meissen, “Frauenlob’s Song of Songs”, Pennsylvania State Universtity Press (2007), ISBN 978-0271029252

05472 77173 2 Vox Iberica III El Sabio – Gesänge für König Alfonso X von Kastilien und Leon / Songs for King Alfonso X of Castille and Leon (1221-1284). Rec 2/91 (1992) bc 054727717321

05472 77280 2 (2 CDs) Bordesholmer Marienklage / The Bordersholm Lament of Virgin Mary. Rec. 4/92 (1993) bc 054727728020

05472 77302 2 Oswald von Wolkenstein: Lieder – Songs. Rec. 1/93 (1993) bc 054727730221

05472 77320 Hildegard von Bingen: Canticles of Ecstasy. Rec. 6/93 (1994) bc 054727732027
Also French edition 05472 77555 2 “Chants de l’extase” (1994) bc 054727755521 Japanese edition BVCD-38170 (2008) bc 4988017658253

05472 77 227 2 Dante and the Troubadours. Rec. 12/93 (1995) bc 054727722721
Reissued collection “Splendeurs” 82876 60163 2 (2004) bc 0828766016321

05472 77346 2 Hildegard von Bingen: Voice of the Blood. Rec 10-11/94 (1996) bc 054727734625
Reissued 05472 77694 2 “40th anniversary edition, including 40 page catalogue” (1999), bc 054727769429
(Note: BMG 05472 77806 2 is a 10′-CD single with 3 tracks, bc 054727780622, see entry on Discogs.com)

05472 77347 2 Visions from the Book. Rec. 11/94 (1996) bc 054727734724

05472-77370 2 Shining Light – Music from Aquitanian Monasteries (12th Century). Rec 2/96 (1996) 054727737022
Also French edition 05472 77666 2 “Lumière – Musique des Monastères en Aquitaine (XIIe siècle)” (1996) bc 054727766626

05472 77378 2 (2 CDs) Hildegard von Bingen: Saints. Rec. 6/96 (1998) bc 054727737824

05472 77353 2 Hildegard von Bingen: O Jerusalem – A dedication ceremony of symphoniae. Rec. 10/96 (1997) bc 054727735325

05472 77383 2 Aquitania – Christmas Music from Aquitanian Monasteries (12th Century). Rec. 2/96 to 11/96 (1997) bc 054727738326

05472 77381 2 Edda – Myths from medieval Iceland. Rec. 11/96 (1999) bc 054727738128

05472 77394 2 (2 CDs) Bingen Ordo Virtutum. Rec. 6-7/98 (1998) bc 0054727739422
Last recording with Barbara Thornton
Also Musical Heritage Society 525505X (1999) 717794550528

The Rheingold Curse: A Germanic Saga of Greed and Revenge from the Medieval Icelandic Edda. Rec. 9/01. (2 SACDs) Marc Aurel Edition MA 20016 (2001) bc 4035566200164, also bc 675754490621

82876 58939 2 (SACD) Lost Songs of a Rhineland Harper X & XI Century. Rec. 9/02 (2004) bc 828765893923. Also 82876 58940 2 (SACD) (2004), bc 828765894029.
US reissue of SACD version 82876-58939-2RE1 (2005), bc 828765893923, with FBI anti-piracy warning

Krone und Schleier / Crown and Veil. Rec. 7/04 (2005) Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der BRD (Bonn) / Ruhrlandmuseum Essen, no catalog number (2005)
(from Sequentia’s website:) Sequentia’s ensemble of female vocalists, directed by Benjamin Bagby and joined by the members of the young ensemble Ars Choralis Coeln, presents masterpieces of liturgical and devotional music from medieval German convents, including some pieces performed here for the first time since the Middle Ages. This anthology was produced to accompany the major exhibition ‘Krone und Schleier’ presented by the Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Bonn) and the Ruhrlandmuseum Essen in the Spring of 2005. It was produced by the West German Radio and sold only through the museums.

82876-66649-2 (SACD) Chant Wars – the Carolingien “globalisation” of medieval plainchant. With Sequentia, dir Benjamin Bagby & Dialogos, dir Kararina Livljanić, rec. 11/04 (2005) bc 828766664928
Also 82876-66650-2 (SACD) (2005), bc 828766665024

Endzeitfragmente – Fragments for the End of Time. Benjamin Bagby, Norbert Rodenkirchen, rec. 5/07 Raumklang RK 2803 (2008) 4018767028034

88765 46864 2 Hildegard von Bingen: Celestial Hierarchy. Rec. 11/12 (2013) bc 887654686428

Compilations and collections

05472 77333 3 (3 CDs) Vox Iberica I-III (1993) bc 054727733321
Collects Vox Iberica I Sons of Thunder (77199), II Codex Las Huelgas (05472 77238 2 ) and III El Sabio (05472 77173 2)

05472 77505 2 (8 CDs) Hildegard von Bingen: 900 years (1998) bc 054727750526
With Symphoniae CDC 7 49251 2, Canticles of Ecstasy 77320, Voice of the Blood 77346, O Jerusalem 77353, Saints 77378, Ordo Virtutum 2nd recording 77394 

88697 90248 2 (8 CDs) Sequentia: Hildegard von Bingen (2011) bc 886979024823
With Saints, Ordo Virtutum, Canticles of Ecstasy, Voice of the Blood, O Jerusalem, Symphoniae

74321 886 892 LC 00316 (2CDs): “Chants de l’extase” (BMG-France 2002) 743218868924
Collates Voice of the Blood and O Jerusalem
Note: NOT Canticles of ecstasy

88697 099202 (2 CDs) Von Bingen : “Chants de l’extase” (2007) bc 0886970992022
Same as above

88697 52707 2 Visions of Paradise – The Music of Hildegard von Bingen (2009) 886975270729
Compilation of individual tracks from Symphoniae, Canticles of Ecstasy, Voice of the Blood, Saints, O Jerusalem, Ordo Virtutum
Note: not to be confused with “A Vision of Paradise”, 1994 reissue of “Symphoniae” (see above)

88697 98305 2 Music for Paradise – The Best of Hildegard von Bingen (2012) 886979830523
Same as above

Track Listing
1. O Jerusalem
2. Voice of the Blood : O Rubor Sanguinis
3. Canticles of Ecstasy O Tu Suavissima Virga
4. Symphoniae : O Quam Mirabilis
5. Canticles of Ecstasy Caritas Habundat In Omnia
6. Voice of the Blood : O Cruor Sanguinis
7. Canticles of ecstasy O Vis Aeternitatis
8. Saints : O Beata Infantia
9. Symphoniae : O vos felices radices
10. Saints : O presul vere civitatis
11. Ordo Virtutum: [Instrumental]
12. Ordo Virtutum: Que es aut unde venis?
13. Ordo Virtutum: In principio

 88875002732 (10 CDs) Sequentia Edition (2014) bc 888750027320
Dante & the Troubadours, English Songs of the Middle Ages,, Philippe Le Chancelier, Troubadours, Heinrich von Messen, Philippe de Vitry, Wolkenstein, The Bordesholm Lament of Virgin Mary

88725431682 (9 CDs) Hildegard von Bingen Edition (Sept. 2017) 0887254316824
Saints, Ordo Virtutum, Canticles of Ecstasy, Voice of the Blood, O Jerusalem, Symphoniae, Celestial Hierarchy
Note: not yet out as I write, but seems to come in the form of a book with leather binding and include lavish booklet. Great gift for Christmas!

Comments are welcome