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Classical - Released October 19, 2007 | ECM New Series

Distinctions Stereophile: Record To Die For
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Classical - Released February 18, 2011 | ECM New Series

Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Jazz - Released March 3, 2017 | ECM New Series

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Classical - Released November 21, 2014 | ECM New Series

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Classical - Released September 23, 2005 | ECM New Series

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Classical - Released October 12, 2001 | ECM New Series

Would that it were possible to give a debut recording a higher rating. The Trio Mediaeval is a remarkable group of women from Scandanavia whose repertoire consists of contemporary works and medieval compositions, as well as Baroque church music. This recording comprises a Messe de Tournai of polyphonic mass movements from a 14th century text and is interspersed with motets and songs from roughly the same period, including a number of works from English manuscripts. There is also a small collection of monophonic music Laude verses from the 13th century, and Ivan Moody's glorious Words of the Angel inserted as part of the mass, the lone contemporary work in the set. Produced by the Hilliard Ensemble's John Potter, the Trio has accomplished the unthinkable in taking a body of music that was meant solely for the voices of men, and transformed it into a multiphonic soprano's paradise. While the intonations presented a number of problems, the group takes the source material and treats it as if it were contemporary music and skates a wonderfully razored line of innovation and reverence that moves from mere academic inquiry -- something to despise in classical music -- into a terrain of mystery, depth, and an ambiguous austerity that actually feels like the music of prayer. So often, either the music director or the technical gifts of individual singers bury the soul of a medieval manuscript under technique and the secular sheen of primary academic indulgence. Here, despite the presence of truly inspiring vocal gifts -- being able to shape a stark musical line with warmth and aplomb while adding structure and aesthetic form to a series of works that were separate until the present recording -- the texts themselves and their prayerful intention are given full expression by this wonderful group. Their treatment of Moody's Words of the Angel (a young composer of 37 who studied with John Tavener and belongs to the Orthodox Church) is offered the same reverential space, placing it in a timeless continuum with the other works here that are centuries older. The projected polyphony takes the Eastern motifs and weaves them seamlessly into the earlier medieval ideal without perverting or altering in any way the composer's intentions. Only time will tell, of course, but Words of the Angel, with its inspiring performance and heartfelt, mystical longings, will most likely become a recording of reference for decades to come. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Classical - Released January 16, 2004 | ECM New Series

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Jazz - Released March 3, 2017 | ECM New Series