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Edda - An Icelandic Saga - Myths From Medieval Iceland / Sequentia

Sequentia Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

Price: $8.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 10 Songs, 1999 $9.99  
Audio CD, 1999 $8.99  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Edda: Leikur Elds Og IsaElizabeth Gaver 2:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Edda: Veit Ek At Ek HekkBenjamin Bagby 5:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Edda: Hliods Bid Ek AllarSequentia10:10Album Only
listen  4. Reidr var tha VingthorrBenjamin Bagby13:51Album Only
listen  5. Edda: Nu Ero Komnar Til Konungs HusaSusanne Norin;Barbara Thornton;Elizabeth Gaver12:18Album Only
listen  6. Edda: Baldurs MinniElizabeth Gaver 3:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Senn voro aesir allir a thingiBenjamin Bagby;Barbara Thornton;Elizabeth Gaver 9:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Edda: That Man Hon FolkvigSusanne Norin;Barbara Thornton 6:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Edda: RagnaroekElizabeth Gaver 1:28$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Edda: A Fellr Austan Um EitrdalaSequentia11:33Album Only

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Edda - An Icelandic Saga - Myths From Medieval Iceland / Sequentia + Lost Songs of a Rhineland Harper + Aquitania: Christmas Music from Aquitanian Monasteries (12th Century)
Price for all three: $28.50

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 18, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: RCA
  • ASIN: B00000IFOM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,856 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Sequentia here performs a miracle of musical restoration, bringing to vibrant life medieval Icelandic texts about gods and heroes inhabiting a mythic past. Drawing on oral traditions and informed scholarly speculations about long-dead performing styles, they have come up with a hypnotic disc that startles with its power and beauties. The songs and recitations are interwoven with captivating fiddle tunes, and the singers wrench surprising emotions from the old texts. The late Barbara Thornton shines in her solos and duets, and Benjamin Bagby's mesmerizing chanting, recitation, and singing brings us as close as we're likely to get to sitting at the feet of the bards of old. An extraordinary disc that shouldn't be missed. --Dan Davis

Product Description

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
102 of 105 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some Thoughts and Square Facts on this CD May 13, 2005
By Laukr
Format:Audio CD
Having listened now to this CD a fair bit I wish to comment on it. First of all I will say that it is an absolutely beautiful work: the voices, the sound of the lyre and the fiddle, the lyrics themselves (taken from the Old Norse "Elder Edda") are strange and enchanting. Here do not mistake "strange" for a negative comment: part of the beauty of the Norse myths, as with the Finnish "Kalevala", and with Professor Tolkien's "Silmarillion" and "The Lord of the Rings", comes from this sense of strangeness. Perhaps a better way of describing it would be to say that it is Teutonic (as opposed to, say, Classical or Romantic) in tone and feel, which is something altogether unique.

As I said, I find these stories to be exceptionally stirring and beautiful, and this CD provides the same feeling. But some clarity as to the nature of this CD is, I think, required.

For starters, ignore the reviewer who complained that this CD is sung in Latin; it is not. It is in Old Icelandic. (How this person came to this conclusion I can't imagine: a quick glance at the liner notes -- which are excellent, by the way, providing a dual text in Old Icelandic and Modern English -- should make this apparant: lines such as "Surtr ferr sunnan meš sviga lęvi / skinn af sverši sol valtiva" are clearly *not* Latin.)

However, the mistake is perhaps not without cause, for the CD (and this is important to note) is sung in the style of old Latin Gregorian chants. The inflection on the language is Latinate, *not* Norse. The reason I say this is important is because the CD claims it is singing approximately the way the ancient Norsemen would have sung these lays, but this is not so close to the truth as other reviews would imply.
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Udmęrket! July 14, 2000
Format:Audio CD
Myths From Medieval Iceland is the best slice of Nordic culture since Iceland's Bjųrk Gudmundsdottir burst on the pop scene with her band Sugarcubes. Seriously, this recording of exerpts from the Edda are executed with as much passion as Sequentia ever put in to recording the entire works of Hildegard von Bingen. The universal appeal of this work was verified by one of my clarinet students when he took this and 5 other examples of Medieval music to give a presentation in an English class. The Icelandic offering was the clear favorite among TEENAGERS! It is heartbreaking that the world lost Sequentia's co-founder Barbara Thornton during the final editing phase of this recording. She had such a perfect balance between historically informed performance practices and delivering work with unbridled passion. What a loss. We are truly fortunate that she left behind such immaculate work as this.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars musicianship and scholarship in a perfect blend March 26, 2002
Format:Audio CD
Sequentia, known primarily for their excellent interpretations of the works of Hildegaard von Bingen, turn their attention here to the poetry and music of 13th Century Iceland. With eager and well pursued scholarship, they have attempted to recreate a lost musical experience, down to the archaic pronunciation of the Old Icelandic. The music is eerie and affecting, the singing and playing are stirring, and the program is extremely solid.
The sound of the lyre and fiddles (complete with droning strings) mesh perfectly with the powerful and beautiful voices as Sequentia sings, tells, and acts out ancient Norse Myths from the poetry of Snorri Sturlusson and others.
I guarantee you've never heard anything quite like this.
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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
It doesn't hurt to have read the myths beforehand, to know Voluspa--at least a translation of the material. But, even without knowing what is going on, the beauty of this music invites one to wander into a different mindspace. The computer can fade away. The CD player--gone.
Now, sitting around the fire, listen to the Edda (grandmother) tell the stories. Tonight the wind doesn't howl so loudly, the snow isn't so cold, bards have joined Edda to remind us of the tales of our heritage.
Is this what our distant Viking kin used to listen to back in their great halls? Absent sound recordings, we'll never know for sure. I do miss the percussion I've heard on other recordings of ancient music.
The stark simplicity of this music compels. "Listen to me!" Hear the words of the Witch, of Voluspa. Hear the tale of Thrym, who steals Thor's hammer and gets taken in by a ruse. "Balder's Dreams" haunts the listener, who knows Balder's fate.
It's interesting to spend 76 minutes listening to this music, then to drop Wagner onto the CD player. The contrast, from the spartan Icelandic music to the richness of the 19th century compositions, can cause a brainquake!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great May 7, 2002
Format:Audio CD
I love this CD so much that I can't think of what to say about it. For starters, the voices are wonderful - the combination of licoricey baritone, cool sopranos and spare instrumentals is both sensual and stark; the harmonies, sometimes only one note apart, are happy puzzles for the ear. More than the physical beauty of the music though, are the tales - familiar but told in an unfamiliar tongue and couched in the exotic imagery of pagan Iceland. This is like music in a dream - you know it but it's utterly strange and for me, mesmerizing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I like it
very good
Published 9 days ago by Alan Denman
3.0 out of 5 stars its ok
the cd cover is vary cool but the music was kinda a little church,y fide not as good as the yggdrasil
Published 3 months ago by Tanya Gibson
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!
This CD came to my home at the speed of light! Delivery was so fast!

But to the music! The music is wonderful--and the best part, in my opinion--is that there's a... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Johanna
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE
This music is medieval in itself - it helps me really imagine what it was like back then, the instruments even have an ancient sound to them - also part way through track 7 (at... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Tania Poole
5.0 out of 5 stars A/gaetur diskur!
I heard this concert in Seattle a few years ago and loved it. I'm currently studying Icelandic and this music has provided great inspiration to keep working on a very complex... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Rich Hill, Seattle
5.0 out of 5 stars Read the Poetic Edda, and THEN listen to this CD
I won't comment on the authenticity of the style of singing on this album; fortunately a lot of other folks have already done that, all of whom are probably much more knowledgeable... Read more
Published on August 31, 2012 by The valkyrie Mist
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning
Stunningly beautiful and utterly haunting. This music has quickly rivalled the Anonymous 4 CDs as "most played" on my iPod, and I can't give a higher complement than that. Read more
Published on June 4, 2010 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Great collection but uneven
First, I think this is a great collection of music. It captures the mystery and lure of the Norse Myths in a way which is otherwise unheard of with the possible exception of... Read more
Published on July 28, 2008 by Christopher R. Travers
5.0 out of 5 stars satisified customer
I was looking for the early sounds of Iceland. My mother's family goes back to Ingolfur Arnarson the first settler of Iceland whose farm site later rose as the capital city,... Read more
Published on March 11, 2008 by Jo Packer
5.0 out of 5 stars Music for a Winter Night
The first time I listened to this, the best (to my mind) of any of Sequentia's recorded output, what struck me was the strangeness of it. Read more
Published on February 11, 2008 by P. G. Wickberg
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