Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sequentia - The Rheingold Curse

Sequentia - The Rheingold Curse (2002)

"Sequentia is an early music ensemble, started in 1977 by Benjamin Bagby and the late Barbara Thornton. The group specializes mainly in Medieval music. Sequentia focuses particularly on music with texts, specifically chants and other stories with music, such as the Icelandic Edda. They are interested in the interplay between drama and music, and sometimes do partially staged performances, such as that of Hildegard of Bingen’s Ordo Virtutum. Bagby and Thornton have both been active in original research on the projects they perform.

Originally based in Cologne, Germany, the group has recently moved to Paris.

The only long-term members of Sequentia seem to be Benjamin Bagby, Barbara Thornton before her death, and Katarina Livljanic. The rest of the members are hired according to the needs of the particular project.

They mainly record on the Deutsche Harmonia Mundi Label." (

Disc 1
01 | Hlióðs bið ec allar kindir (Voluspá I)
02 | Óðinn oc Hœnir oc Loki hofðo komit til Andvarafors (Reginsmál)
03 | Sveinn oc sveinn, hveriom ertu sveini um borinn? (Fáfnismál)
04 | Hvat beit brynio, hví bra ec svefni? (Sigrdrífomál)
05 | Instrumental interlude
05 | Ár var, þatz Sigurðr sótti Giúca (Sigurðarkviða in scamma I)

Disc 2
01 | Guðrúnarkviða in Fyrsta (The First Lay of Gudrun)
02 | Sigurðarkviða in scamma II (A Short Poem About Sigurd, part 2)
03 | Guðrúnarkviða onnor (The Second Lay of Gudrun)
04 | Atlakviða (The Lay of Atli)
05 | Voluspá II (The Prophecy of the Seeress, part 2)

Availability: It took me years to find this CD at an affordable price.  Currently there exists at least one used copy on Amazon for approximately $35 (and at least one copy for $170).  No MP3 available.

Monday, January 5, 2015

JPP - History

JPP - History (1999)

"JPP Järvelän pikkupelimannit (“Little Folk Musicians of Järvelä”) formed in 1982 in the fiddling capital of Finland (and perhaps the world), Kaustinen. Born from the fiddling tradition of the Järvelä family, in Järvelä village in Kaustinen, JPP’s musical roots go back to the 19th century. Their initial spark came from the local and national folk music boom in the 60s, particularly the phenomenal national success of Kaustinen fiddler/composer Konsta Jylhä, and their distinctive skills at composing and arranging immediately emerged, forming the basis for their style, appeal and future career.

JPP members have experience and training in musical genres outside folk music, for example classical and jazz, therefore expanding the scope of their music far wider than ordinary fiddle groups. In effect, JPP have created a style all their own, one that is impossible to categorize easily and one which continuously surprises." (

01 | Hoppavalssi (Jump Waltz)
02 | Tjöck
03 | Lönnruutin Katrilli
04 | Mazurka
05 | I've Found a New Baby
06 | Karjalan Yleiskatrilli (Common Quadrille Of Karelia)
07 | Yö Saaristossa (A Night In The Archipelago)
08 | Ellun Sotiisi (Ellu's Schottische)
09 | Laitisen Mankeliska (For Laitinen's Mangle)
10 | Kruunupyyn Katrilli (Kruunupyy Qudrille)
11 | Hokanen Savusaunassa (Hokkanen in the Smoke Sauna_
12 | Vanha Paimenen Soitto (Old Shepherd's Tune)
13 | Riippusillan Hambo (Riippu Bridge Hambo)
14 | Kaustinen Rhapsody
15 | Marssi Amerikkalaisesta Nuottikirjasta (March From American Sheet Music Book)
16 | Lampaan Polska (Lamb's Polska)
17 | Irish Coffee
18 | Koskirannan Kiperä (A Tough One From Koskiranta)
19 | Siltatanssit-Tango (Bridge Dances Tango)
20 | Kalmari Special
21 | Valvotun Yön Valssi (Sleepless Night)
22 | Puikkoristikko (Cross of Sticks)

Availability: Available used or in MP3 format in the U.S.