Discover ancient Polish music with ENSEMBLE PEREGRINA

Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels - in the framework of BOZAR SUNDAYS
Peregrina © G.Ziemianski Peregrina © G.Ziemianski

ENSEMBLE PEREGRINA, directed by Agnieszka Budzińska-Bennett, is participating in BOZAR SUNDAYS with its concert SACER NIDUS (The holy nest | St Adalbert, Bolesław I the Valliant and Otto III in Medieval Music).

>>> Find out more about the historical context behind the creation of the texts performed HERE
>>> Find out more about Ensemble Peregrina on our site or theirs

+++ Read the article by Elżbieta Cherezińska and Agnieszka Budzińska-Bennett entitled A mature man at the peak of power and a young man of ephemeral charm, which serves as an historical introduction to the Sacer Nidus record.
+++ Read the lyrics  (in Latin and English) of Sacer Nidus.
+++ Click here to listen to an extract of Bogurodzica, played during the concert.


1. Festum agat ecclesia [hymn, Cracow, 15th century]
2. Alme presul [responsory from the rhyme office Benedic regem cunctorum, Gniezno, 13th/14th century]
3. O preclara Adalberti (instrumental)
4. O preclara Adalberti [fragment, Gniezno, 14th century]
5. Annua recolamus [fragment, Reichenau, written around 1001]
6. Consurgat in preconia [fragment, Gniezno (?), 15th century]
7. Omnis etas, omnis sexus [lamentation for the death of Bolesław Chrobry (1025) – the text comes from the Chronique de Gallus Anonymous (I, 16), dating from 12th century]
8. Hac festa die tota [fragment, Gniezno (?), written after 1090]
9. Beatus es (instrumental)
10. Alleluja. V. Beatus es [Gniezno, 16th century]
11. Salve sidus Polonorum [fragment, Gniezno (?),14th|15th century]
12. Adalbertus presul (instrumental)
13. Alleluja V. Salve decus Polonie [Cracow, 15th century]
14. Bogurodzica [Kcynia (close to Poznań) or Cracow, date unknown) - LISTEN HERE
15. Fulget in templo legifer (hymn, Cracow, 15th century)

Practical information

>>> Centre for Fine Arts - BOZAR (Rue Ravensteinstraat 23, 1000 Brussels) - see map
Rotonde Bertouille
>>> Sunday 27 october 11am > 12am
>>> €10
This event on the website of BOZAR 

Sacer Nidum | The Holy Nest

Gniezno is a Polish city situated around fifty kilometres from Poznań. The city’s name originates from the word ‘nest’; it refers to the place where the legendary
Lech, father of all Poles, saw a white eagle’s eyrie and decided to create a kingdom there.  Around 1000 AD, Bolesław Ist the Valiant, prince of Poland and the son of the first Christian ruler of Poland, entrusted bishop Adalbert with the task of converting the small Pagan tribes which lived close to his borders. The bishop died a martyr. His body was bought by the prince who interred it in the cathedral. The martyr was canonised in Rome, and his cult spread in the country ruled by Bolesław, going beyond the borders of the Germanic empire, its western neighbour. When emperor Otto III came to pay his respects at the bishop’s tomb, he placed his crown on the prince’s head, in a sign of recognition of his valiance, his faith and his political duties. The Germanic empire respectfully gave in to Bolesław who was crowned king on his deathbed in 1025. Poland became a kingdom, having proved, in the Christian Middle Ages, that it was worthy of the Church. The characters of Bolesław – the first king –, Adalbert – the first Polish saint – and Otto III – the emperor who recognised Poland – are intimately intertwined in the Polish medieval mentality. Given this, it comes as no surprise that they were mentioned so often in period documents and sung about with such fervour in the centuries which followed.
The ‘Holy Nest’ is, quite simply, the birthplace of Poland.

Ensemble Peregrina was founded in Basel by the polish singer and musicologist Agnieszka Budzińska-Bennett, and it researches and performs sacred and secular music from twelfth to fourteenth century Europe. The ensemble’s main interest lies in the early polyphonies and monophonic repertories of the Notre Dame school and Aquitanian nova cantica; the aim always being to look for a creative “counterpoint” to the mainstream in the less known peripheral sources. The ensemble’s programmes are characterised by a careful choice of themes and pieces, always paying close attention to their textual and musical interrelationships.
Peregrina’s interpretation and style is informed by the original source materials and treatises, as well as the latest musicological and historical research. The ensemble strives to approach a performance transmitted in the sources as closely as possible without having to renounce a well-balanced and beautiful vocal performance.
The ensemble’s continuing partnership with the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, where its members met and studied, led to CDs recordings Mel et lac (SCB Edition/Raumklang/DRS2 2005) and Filia praeclara (SCB/Divox 2008) which have received critical acclaim in the press including twice Goldberg 5 (Spain), 4 Diapason (France), Selection Musicora (Apr 2006),CD of the month (Muzyka 21, Poland), Supersonic Pizzicato (Luxembourg). Filia praeclara has also been awarded the prestigious ECHO-KLASSIK 2009 for the best a capella recording of the year.
Peregrina has also been invited to lecture on the music of 12th century Aquitaine at the SCB and has twice performed in the prestigious concert series “Freunde Alter Musik” in Basel. The ensemble has also performed at numerous other festivals in Switzerland (such as Lucerne Festival), Poland, Germany, Spain, Estonia and Czech Republic. Its concerts have been braodcasted by radio stations like Swiss radio DRS 2, BBC 3 Bayerischer Rundfunk, Deutschlandfunk, SWR2, Polskie Radio 2 (PL) and Klaasika Radio (Estonia).
The name “peregrina”, the wanderer, alludes to the transmission of music and ideas throughout Europe in the Middle Ages, but also reflects the personal journeys of the singers themselves. The ensemble members (coming from Poland, Switzerland and the United States) together achieve a dynamic balance through their differing origins, and they unite to emulate the interaction and convergence of the cultures and histories of the music they perform.

Agnieszka Budzińska-Bennett
- voice, harp, direction
Hanna Järveläinen - voice
Eve Kopli - voice
Clara Coutouly - voice
Baptiste Romain - vielle

Agnieszka Budzińska-Bennett (born in Szczecin in 1973) has a diploma in Piano (Szczecin Conserv., 1992), Masters Degree in Musicology (Poznan University, 1999). Post-graduate studies in Medieval/Renaissance voice at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (1997-2001) with R. Levitt, K. Dineen, E. Tubb and D. Vellard as well as the medieval harp with H. Rosenzweig. Singing courses with with E. Kirkby (Dartington) and B. Thornton (Cologne), private sudies with A. Boothroyd (London) and S. Haselhoff (Basel). In years 2001-2003 post-graduate studies of Musicology (W. Arlt) and Norse Philology at the University Basle. Performs regularly in Europe working with diverse groups such as her own Basle ensemble Peregrina, Ferrara Ensemble, ensemble Perlaro, ensemble Slowo as well as Arte dei Suonatori (Poland). In the saison 2003/2004 Agnieszka Budzinska has made her successful scenic debut at the Basle Theatre in a double role of Amor/Valletto in the Monteverdi's "L'incoronazione di Poppea" (musical dir. Konrad Junghänel with La Cetra).

The project Sacer Nidus has been prepared by the Office of the Governor of the Region Wielkopolska.

Bozar Sundays
BOZAR Sundays offers the possibility to families to enjoy culture with the whole family
on Sunday morning. First there is a breakfast, followed by a wide artistic offer. For children (between the age of 3 and 12) there are workshops and all kinds of activities, adults can enjoy exhibitions and concerts. (Do not forget to book in advance to make sure you will have the breakfast you like.)

10:00 : Breakfast
10:30 : Subscription for activity
11:00 : Concert / Guided tour (about 1 hour)

Bozar Sundays, on the website of BOZAR

 >>> The Centre for Fine Arts


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