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Restoring Lost Songs: Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy


Boethius: Songs of Consolation

Metra from 11th-century Canterbury

Imprisoned in Pavia in the early 520s, Boethius could not have anticipated that his final work would become one of the most widely read books of the Middle Ages. The Consolation of Philosophy portrays his struggle to reconcile himself to his fate by exploring the ways of man, the role of Fortune, and the major questions of good and evil. Evidence that the poems of the Consolation were sung in the early Middle Ages survives in the form of musical notation added to over thirty extant manuscripts dating from the ninth through to the beginning of the twelfth century. Through scholarly detective work, the members of Sequentia, together with a Cambridge eminence in the medieval melodic tradition linked to Boethius’ work, Sam Barrett, have been able to produce a convincing reconstruction of this lost repertory. Barrett himself signs the main booklet essay and provides some fascinating insights therein.

Benjamin Bagby, voice, harps & direction 
Hanna Marti, voice & harp
Norbert Rodenkirchen, flutes


  1. Carmina qui quondam
  2. Heu, quam praecipiti
  3. Tunc me discussa
  4. Quisquis composito
  5. O stelliferi conditor
  6. Cum Phoebi radiis
  7. Nubibus atris
  8. Stans a longe (instr.)
  9. Si quantas rapidis
  10. Tuba (instr.)
  11. Bella bis quinis
  12. Vaga (instr.)
  13. Quid tantos iuvat

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