Trio Mediæval

A Worcester Ladymass

  • AllMusic Rating
    9
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Trio Mediæval continues to solidify its reputation as one of the world's outstanding small vocal ensembles. The women's trio specializes in Medieval and contemporary music, and on this album offers both. It is organized around the idea of reconstructing a mass for the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary using polyphonic movements taken from the 13th century Worcester Fragments and is supplemented by motets and chants of the same era. Gavin Bryars, with whom the ensemble has frequently been associated, provides settings for the Credo and Benedicamus Domino. He sticks fairly closely to the style of the Worcester Fragments, which, in fact, use dissonance and voice leading in ways that can sound astonishingly contemporary. Close attention to the details of his settings give away their identity as modern works, but they are near enough in style that they don't cause any disruption in the flow of the mass. Anna Maria Friman, Linn Andrea Fuglseth, and Torunn Østrem Ossum have voices of exceptional purity and sweetness, and their intonation is focused with such absolute precision that the music rings with clarity. They bring enough interpretive and expressive freedom to the music to give it plenty of life, but it is always tempered with an appropriately chaste restraint, which is an ideal approach to this repertoire. There is enough variety in the music -- some is polyphonic, some is unison chant; some is a cappella and some is accompanied by drones; some is ecstatic and some is reverentially reserved -- that the album should appeal to more than just hardcore early music enthusiasts. ECM's exemplary sound is characteristically clean, warm, and vibrantly immediate.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 4:01 Amazon
Mass (Worchester fragments)
2 7:35 Amazon
3 3:26 Amazon
4 2:37 Amazon
5 2:04 Amazon
6 1:24 Amazon
7 1:57 Amazon
Work(s)
8 2:51 Amazon
9 5:14 Amazon
10 1:35 Amazon
11 1:31 Amazon
12 1:45 Amazon
13 2:30 Amazon
14 1:58 Amazon
15 1:31 Amazon
Mass (Worchester fragments)
16 2:20 Amazon
17 3:34 Amazon
18 0:53 Amazon
19 0:53 Amazon
20 1:20 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick