Acclaim
 
Songs We Love: Trio Mediaeval, 'Morgunstjarna'

"It's a curious thing how ancient music can sometimes sound so contemporary. Listen to 'Morgunstjarna,' and it's as if three centuries' worth of music history evaporates."

Tom Huizenga, NPR Music
Trio Mediaeval and Arve Henrisen

"Their sound has made them one of the most distinct voices on the ECM label."

William Dart, New Zealand Herald
Trio Mediaeval & Arve Henriksen: Rímur

"Impressive from the first moment of listening is the strength, calmness and concentration this originally monophonic music exudes."

Henning Bolte, All About Jazz

"The first thing to be said is that the singing here is just stunning. This is music that pauses every couple of seconds on perfect intervals - usually an octave and a fifth. Those arrivals positively ring, so pure are they. (I had the eerie experience of listening to this disc in a car, and feeling every move from dissonance to consonance in the passenger-side door handle.) Where there are unisons, they are so perfectly blended that it's only with great difficulty that you can tell that more than one person is singing.

"But for all the precision, the effect isn't cold or remote. There is great tenderness here (and, incidentally, a terrific object lesson for those who think tenderness impossible without vibrato). So beguiling is the sound that even an item like Munda Maria, a litany that (musically speaking) is one short phrase repeated literally a couple dozen times, seems too short."

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Michelle Dulak Thomson, San Francisco Classical Voice
"All three singers possessed tremendous control, the kind that didn't rely on vibrato or melisma to impress; instead, their biggest strength, even with this altered incarnation, was in their ability to interpret with finesse and create power with the gentlest delivery, all the while employing shifting dynamics with unfailing and uncanny synchronicity." Read More...
John Kelman, All About Jazz
"Listening to the soaring tri-part harmonies of Trio Mediaeval is much more than giving praise to the Almighty. There is an assertion of the joy of just being alive that makes this one of the most intoxicating recordings I have heard in some time." Read More...
Greg Barbrick, Blogcritics
"The Trio is renowned for the purity of its singing, and that was apparent and impressive from the first moment. But what really made the mass come alive was the group's astute characterization of each part as a dramatic statement." Read More...
Robert Everett-Green, Toronto Globe and Mail
"The trio is also intrinsically and relentlessly in service of the song, rather than the other way around, so while the acumen of these three tremendous singers is never in question, it reveals itself, not through overt acts of vocal pyrotechnics but, instead, through a collective sound given even greater life through the pristine translucence of Austria's Propstei St. Gerold-a location used by ECM nearly 30 times, ranging from other classical releases to dates including John Surman's The Spaces in Between (2007) and Ralph Towner's Time Line (2006). A Worcester Ladymass is another superlative recording from a trio for whom the title of its 2001 debut, Words of the Angel, could simply not be more appropriate." Read More...
John Kelman, All About Jazz
Trio Mediaeval's Worcester Ladymass
"Their new disc returns to their best territory, late medieval polyphony juxtaposed with modern music, and their sound is as pristine as it ever was."
Charles T. Downey, Ionarts
"A Worcester Ladymass is a glorious experience.... Taken as a whole, this album is an absolute delight. Whether you simply want to wallow in a wave of seductive tones, or sit up and revel in the superbly-rendered polyphonic complexities, Trio Mediaeval ensure that the experience will be a wonderfully enriching one." Read More...
Graham Rogers, BBC
"The ringing acoustics of the recording venue, a medieval Austrian monastery, illuminate the Trio Mediaeval voices. These women have been singing together for 14 years, and their blend is impeccable. They sing with a straight, clear tone, accompanied by mellow chimes in pieces like the Agnus Dei. Each composition is a jewel, evoking the spirit of a long-gone era." Read More...
Ashalen Sims, NPR Music
"Trio Mediaeval ... offer something really different and quite arresting which is deliciously infused with their distinctive personalities." Read More...
Ed Breen, MusicalCriticism.com
"As close to vocal perfection as you can get - the three soprano voices of Trio Mediaeval, who performed at Kingston St Mary church on Sunday.

"The Grammy-nominated trio deserved their standing ovation after delivering a faultless programme of polyphonic music. Their sound washed over the packed audience, with a texture which belied only three voices."

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Julie O'Donnell, Somerset County Gazette
"The vocal trio, founded fourteen years ago, still sound as fresh and energised as they did on their first album. Their immaculate blend and tuning brings a deep purity to the sound, particularly during their unison singing, and their perfect ensemble gives their performances with great polish.... Their live performances still contain an enchanting vibrancy and mystery not often seen on the concert stage." Read More...
Lottie Greenhow, musicOMH
"Trio Mediaeval, the Oslo-based vocal ensemble, made a rare local visit on Sunday afternoon for a hypnotically beautiful sold-out performance at the Gardner Museum. These stars of the early music movement combine exquisite, pure-voiced ensemble singing with a vital and freshly contemporary approach to music of the distant past. The repertoire may be ancient but nothing about Sunday’s program had the slightest whiff of the curatorial; the trio’s coolly radiant singing has a way of short-circuiting the centuries." Read More...
Jeremy Eichler, Boston Globe
"Trio Mediaeval is a group of three Scandinavian women whose singing is hauntingly straight and unerringly in tune. Their assignment was to tell the story in a sort of detached John Adams-like minimalist idiom in which text is deconstructed and patterns that are almost repetitive, but not quite, go on for long periods of time. That they managed this with such poise and aplomb is testimony to stunning powers of concentration." Read More...
Joan Reinthaler, Washinton Post
<div class="credit">Trio Mediaeval (from left, Linn Andrea Fuglseth, Torunn Ostrem Ossum and Anna Maria Friman) joined the Bang on a Can All-Stars on Saturday at Zankel Hall for a work by Julia Wolfe.</div>
"The Trio Mediaeval sang the English text with remarkable clarity and a bright, appealing tone." Read More...
Allan Kozinn, New York Times
Thrice as nice.
"If you could bottle the joie de vivre that comes from the members of Trio Mediaeval you could probably sell it not just as a pick-me-up, but as some form of basic life-force." Read More...
Michael Dervan, Irish Times
"A Christmas present came a little early for the three members of the vocal group Trio Mediaeval. Their recording, called Folk Songs, was just nominated for a Grammy Award." Read More...
Tom Huizenga, NPR's Morning Edition
Trio Mediaeval: This a cappella trio from Norway performed long-lost early music at Corpus Christi Church.
"Ms. Ossum's warm, dark voice provided a firm center of tonal gravity, while Ms. Friman and Ms. Fuglseth soared around her in interweaving lines; elsewhere the singers performed alone or in alternation. Each had her own distinct character. Yet these three voices blended with a supernatural clarity and beauty that might cause even a confirmed agnostic to contemplate a spark of divinity in these centuries-old manuscripts." Read More...
Steve Smith, New York Times
"Anna Maria Friman, Linn Andrea Fuglseth and Torunn Østrem Ossum all have voices that are pure and naturally light in vibrato, blending easily and singing wonderfully in tune. Each is a capable soloist, and can also sustain complex vocal accompaniments to the principal tune." Read More...
Rick Walters, Express Milwaukee
"Trio Mediaeval, a female vocal ensemble from Oslo, Norway, brought an entrancing program of traditional Norwegian folk music to a packed house Friday evening at All Saints Cathedral." Read More...
Elaine Schmidt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"Few vocal ensembles produce quite as beautiful and finely blended a sound as this Norwegian trio, which performs in New York twice this weekend." Read More...
Allan Kozinn, New York Times
"I thoroughly enjoyed Trio Mediæval's grand tour of southern Norway throughout history, with bonus side trips to medieval England and France. The emotional spectrum it explored by way of vehicles ranging from lively dance tunes to haunting psalm melodies made me hesitant to come back -- and I'm already looking forward to the next trip." Read More...
Chelsea Nicole Spangler, San Francisco Classical Voice
"Formed in Oslo 10 years ago, Trio Mediaeval has a rigorous touring schedule and has helped nurture a following for early music." Read More...
John Jurgensen, Wall Street Journal
"Light, beautifully tuned voices, wonderful dynamic variety, perfect rapport, imaginative presentation - a true masterclass in a cappella singing. And the medieval material was leavened by artfully arranged Scandinavian folk songs and an ascetic yet atmospheric new piece by Andrew Smith. Beg, borrow, steal or (preferably) buy their CDs on the ECM label." Read More...
Richard Morrison, London Times
"Did it make any difference that Trio Mediaeval, an angelic female ensemble from Scandinavia, was greatly outnumbered by Cantus, a dynamic nonet of male singers based in Minneapolis? Not a bit. They shared a program Wednesday at Cleveland's Trinity Cathedral with equal vibrancy, though they rarely sang together." Read More...
Donald Rosenberg, Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Who knew that an evening of Norwegian folk music sung by early-music specialists could be so magical? The singing was pure and clear, but at the same time individually distinctive and improbably rich." Read More...
David Stabler, The Oregonian
"This ensemble of Scandinavian women, who sing an unusual repertory, live up to its reputation in Europe and the United States. The three are astonishing for their musicality and precision. They make even the most esoteric of material provocative. The capacity audience that heard them at Town Hall in December was ecstatic." Read More...
R.M. Campbell, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
A podcast featuring a review of Folk Songs can be heard here. Read More...
Harmonia
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