Listen: A Cappella Ensemble Peregrina Live from the WRTI 90.1 Performance Studio

May 4, 2018

Hailed as “radiant” by The New York Times and “ethereal" by Newsweek Polska, the award-winning early music ensemble Peregrina, from Basel, Switzerland, will perform on WRTI in advance of upcoming concerts with Piffaro, the Renaissance Band.

Listen to the four-member a cappella ensemble LIVE from our Performance Studio on Tuesday, May 8th at 12:10 pm. They'll chat with WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston and perform selections from their vast repertoire—songs that are lively to serene—including the oldest-known music in Polish. 

Watch the performance on WRTI's Facebook page.

The vocalists will join Piffaro, the Renaissance Band in a program of early Polish music, for three concerts in West Philadelphia, Chestnut Hill, and Wilmington, on May 11th, 12th, and 13th. Details here.

Although they appear regularly in Europe, it’s only the third time in over 20 years that ensemble Peregrina has performed in the United States.

This is a chance to hear the exquisite sound of medieval vocal works that are breathtaking in their natural beauty. Tune in for music not often heard outside churches, like Philadelphia’s own St. Adalbert in the city’s Port Richmond neighborhood. 

Polish singer and musicologist Agnieszka Budzińska-Bennett founded ensemble Peregrina two decades ago. The group interprets medieval music spanning the twelfth to the fourteenth centuries based on primary materials, and other rare sources.  Budzińska-Bennett is joined in song by Lorenza Donadine Carmarca, Hanna Järveläinen, Kelly Landerkin.  The four met at Basel, Switzerland's famed Schola Cantorum, an early music hub of research and performance.

In 2009, the ensemble was awarded Germany’s ECHO-KLASSIK prize for best a cappella recording of the year for its album Filia praeclara. They’ve performed at numerous concerts and festivals throughout Europe, and their music is broadcast on many radio stations including Schweizer Radio, Deutschlandfunk and BBC 3. 

The name peregrina, is Spanish for “wanderer,” evoking the image of itinerant musicians in the Middle Ages, who spread music from town to town.

PROGRAM for Broadcast:

  • Clara Dei famula—rondellus for St. Claire (reconstructed)
  • Omnia beneficia—4-part conductus, Stary Sącz, 13th century
  • Ave nobilis—3-part conductus, Paris, 13th century
  • Bogurodzica—Oldest extant music in Polish, Kcynia b. Poznań, century unknown
  • Manere—2-part motet, Stary Sącz, 13th century
  • Serena virginum—4-part conductus motet, Paris, 13th century
  • Benedicamus Domino—2-part, Stary Sącz, 13th century

Peregrina has released nine albums, and most recently a collection of early music from Denmark.