"A double tour de force of scholarly excavation and artistic dynamism."
– San Francisco Chronicle,
"Powerful and fascinating...overwhelmingly captivating..."
– Berkshire Review for the Arts,
"A vivid demonstration of what has been lost in the process of becoming modern...Bagby, using a brilliant array of dramatic and rhetorical techniques, made it a dazzling experience. His performances should be recorded and made required listening."
– The Washington Post
Since 1990, Benjamin Bagby has been performing the great epic Beowulf at major festivals and venues around the world. This remarkable performance is presented on DVD, beautifully filmed by the award-winning Swedish director Stellan Olsson.While Beowulf has come down to us through literature as a written poem, the epic's pre-literate medieval audience would have known it through the performance of a scop, a bardic storyteller, as Bagby presents himself here. In this one-man tour de force, Bagby accompanies himself on an Anglo-Saxon harp. Using the entire range of his voice, he delivers this gripping tale in Old English, as it could have been experienced more than one thousand years ago. This performance speaks to the lovers of Beowulf and the oral epic, early music enthusiasts, Tolkien fans, medievalists, and anyone searching for virtuoso storytelling or a glimpse into the fascinating beginnings of the English language.
JeffinSeattle - Customer Review
Before there were films, there were harp-strumming bards! This DVD shows an expressive story teller re-creating the story of Beowulf in its own native language. It's actually very absorbing!