DISCOGRAPHY

Rímur, Trio Mediaeval / Arve Henriksen

ECM 2520 Release date: 03.03.2017

Over several summers Trio Mediaeval and trumpeter Arve Henriksen spent many days together by the beautiful Dalsfjorden on the Norwegian west coast, and it was there that most of the music for this recording was born. Fascinated and inspired by Icelandic sagas, beautiful chants, folk songs, religious hymns and fiddle tunes, the quartet has arranged a unique set of songs where improvisation, mediaeval and traditional music from Iceland, Norway and Sweden meet the present. Henriksen has often performed with Trio Mediaeval in live settings – and the singers and trumpeter appear on Sinikka Langeland’s recent record The Magical Forest – but Rímur is their first extensive collaboration on disc. It was recorded in February 2016 at Munich’s Himmelfahrtskirche, and produced by Manfred Eicher.


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Aquilonis, Trio Mediaeval

ECM Records ECM New Series 2416, Released November 2014

Trio Mediaeval – three Scandinavian women whose singing produces "a sound of extraordinary and consoling beauty,” says the Boston Globe – offer a collection of polyphony from the medieval to the modern titled after the North Wind with their sixth ECM New Series release, Aquilonis. One can sense a reference in the title to the Nordic roots of the singers, as well as the bracing purity of their voices; moreover, the album’s repertoire travels from Iceland to Italy, from north to south like the Aquilonis wind. In creatively realizing Icelandic chant from the Middle Ages, Trio Mediaeval accompany their vocals with discreetly textural instrumentation. The group also arranged 12th-century Italian sacred pieces and sings 15th-century English carols, with timeless folk melodies in the air, too. From our contemporary age come works by the Swede Anders Jormin, American William Brooks and Englishman Andrew Smith. In his liner notes to Aquilonis, John Potter – former Hilliard Ensemble tenor and longtime Trio Mediaeval mentor – aptly describes the group’s ability to "create a synthesis of sound and atmosphere… history and geography blending seamlessly.”

 
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A Worcester Ladymass, Trio Mediaeval

ECM Records ECM New Series 2166, Released 2011

Oslo's Trio Mediaeval presents a reconstruction of a 13th century votive Mass to the Virgin Mary, based on surviving manuscripts from a Benedictine Abbey in the English Midlands. Inserted amid the medieval music are a Credo and Benedicamus Domino specially composed for this programme by Gavin Bryars: the old and the new intermingle in the work of this vocal ensemble. Anna Maria Friman: "The members of Trio Mediaeval feel that performing medieval music today gives us the freedom to let our imagination and ideas flow, as though we are creating contemporary music."

 

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Folk Songs, Trio Mediaeval

ECM Records ECM New Series 2003, Released 2007

After three very-well received recordings - Words of the Angel, Soir, dit-elle and Stella Maris - combining medieval sacred music and contemporary composition, Trio Mediaeval's newest project is a departure for the trio. Here the singers investigate their Scandinavian roots with a powerful and compelling account of Norwegian folk songs. On several selections they are joined by percussionist Birger Mistereggen, a specialist in the rare Norwegian folk-drum tradition. Though exploring new ground, the trio continues to display their universal appeal that communicates to an incredibly diverse audience.

 

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Stella Maris, Trio Mediaeval

ECM Records ECM New Series 1929, Released 2005

Stella Maris juxtaposes and seamlessly blends the old and the new. Chants from the 13th century, most of them from English and French Conductus traditions, are complemented by a new sacred composition commissioned by the Trio. Prior to her Missa Lumen de Lumine, Korean-born Sungji Hong had already written several pieces for Anna Maria Friman, whom she had met while studying at York University. Hong's Missa is a contemporary and explorative setting of the Mass Ordinary which displays a keen awareness of the Trio's distinctive vocal style. "We encountered quite a few rhythmic challenges at first," Anna Maria Friman recalls, "but we felt at once that this piece is really written for our voices."

 

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Soir, Dit-Elle, Trio Mediaeval

ECM Records ECM New Series 1869, Released 2004

Trio Mediaeval made a powerful impact in 2001 with their debut album Words of the Angel, their highly distinctive "Scandinavian" vocal sound bringing something fresh to the performance of sacred music. Soir, dit-elle, with equal persuasiveness, reverses the ratio of old to new music... The uniqueness of their vocal blend has encouraged composers Gavin Bryars, Ivan Moody, Andrew Smith and Oleh Harkavyy to write new music for the three women singers. Contemporary works are here interwoven with the Alma redemtoris mass of Leonel Power, the great English composer and theorist who ranks alongside Dunstable as one of the defining forces of 15th century sacred music.

 

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Words of the Angel, Trio Mediaeval

ECM Records ECM New Series 1753, Released 2002

Debut from the female trio from Norway singing music from the Messe de Tournai, plus motets and songs, as well as a collection of Laude, and the contemporary piece by Ivan Moody that gives the album its title. Formed in Oslo in 1997, the Trio Mediaeval studied intensively with the Hilliard Ensemble and shares the English group's sense of adventurousness and equal interest in early and new music. This recording was produced by Hilliard singer John Potter.

 

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