Catholic Culture Solidarity
Catholic Culture Solidarity

98—An Anglo-Saxon Bard—Benjamin Bagby

By Thomas V. Mirus ( bio - articles - email ) | Feb 21, 2021 | In The Catholic Culture Podcast

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Famous for his chanted performances of Beowulf in the original Old English, Benjamin Bagby is the closest thing you’ll find today to an Anglo-Saxon bard. Bagby joins the show to describe how he reconstructed Beowulf as a sung tale, giving a demonstration of his Anglo-Saxon harp which is modeled on harps found in burial sites from over a millennium ago. He also discusses the recordings of the complete works of St. Hildegard of Bingen made by his ensemble, Sequentia.

All music and video by Bagby and Sequentia used with permission.

Links

Bagby’s Beowulf site and DVD https://www.bagbybeowulf.com

Video of Bagby’s full performance at 92Y https://youtu.be/2WcIK_8f7oQ

Sequentia https://www.sequentia.org

Featured piece by St. Hildegard was O Vis Aeternitatis, recorded by Sequentia from their album Canticles of Ecstasy https://www.amazon.com/Von-Bingen-Canticles-Ecstasy-Sequentia/dp/B000001TYF

Theme music: “Franciscan Eyes”, written and performed by Thomas Mirus.

Thomas V. Mirus is a pianist living in New York City. He is Director of Podcasts for CatholicCulture.org, hosts The Catholic Culture Podcast, and co-hosts Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast. See full bio.

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  • Posted by: acama684275 - Mar. 01, 2021 5:53 AM ET USA

    Dear Thomas. Thanks for accepting my comment. I can perhaps "do" quite something to help along Novus Ordo liturgical music. I have a legacy of recorderd CATHOLIC MASS MUSIC (in - inter alia - Latin) in my mainly protestant/and "protestant atheist" members of my University Choirs in South Africa. Do you think my loving priest want any of my "assistence"? I just cannot see it. LOl!

  • Posted by: Thomas V. Mirus - Feb. 27, 2021 2:46 AM ET USA

    Thanks for the compliments - I'm sorry about your liturgical music situation! I pray there is something you can do about it.

  • Posted by: acama684275 - Feb. 26, 2021 6:28 AM ET USA

    Brilliant interview. I am a "classical" musician and music historian (which goes in tandem with church history, although no one today seems to notice it). THANKS also for the Tallis and Byrd podcasts! I converted to the Catholic faith in 2008 from Reformed Protestantism. The music during Novus Ordo mass is mostly rather awful. I live in South-Africa. No Latin Mass here. At the same time also no clown masses and totally awful rubbish-music..... just very near to it. Anyhow. Thanks again, Thomas