Trio Mediæval – Folk Songs (2007)

FrontCover1Corresponding with Trio Mediaeval’s tenth anniversary, their fourth ECM album is a powerful and compelling recording of Norwegian folk songs. Performed in concert over the years, these songs are always received ecstatically – this is the album that Trio Mediaeval’s fans have been waiting for. The infectious melodies and haunting harmonies of this music will communicate across categories to a very broad listenership. Joining the trio on several selections is percussionist Birger Mistereggen, a specialist in the Norwegian folk drumming tradition. The inclusion of percussion not only widens the sonic spectrum of the group, but also adds a rhythmic element to these ballads, hymns, psalms, love songs and lullabies. Founded in Oslo in 1997, the Norwegian- Swedish vocal group Trio Mediaeval was taken up the following year as protégés of the Hilliard Ensemble. Hilliard tenor singer John Potter was especially excited by their potential and brought the group to ECM, acting as producer or coproducer on each of their New Series discs, Words of the Angel, Soir, dit-elle and Stella Maris. Each of these recordings has had great success with fans and critics alike and the trio has maintained a consistent touring presence in the US and all over the world.

This wonderful trio of Scandinavian women, based in Oslo, has long tantalized audiences with samplings of Norwegian folk songs. Here, at last, is a full helping, infectious and addictive, as warm or meditative lyricism alternates with joyous friskiness (by James R. Oestreich).

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I haven’t been enthusiastic about this ensemble of women singers, Trio Mediaeval, on their previous CDs, singing potpourris of chant and polyphony. Their voices are more individually interesting than those of the better-known Anonymous Four, but they’ve ‘schmalzed’ up the reverb and used other little gimmicks to trick themselves out as ‘spiritual-sounding.’ On this CD, however, they’ve tapped into their Norwegian roots, utilized the special vocal quality of Norwegian women singers, caught all the trollish mystery of ancient runes and isolated fiords. We Swedes depend on our Samii and Finnish singers for equally “weird” and heathenish vocal effects, but we can’t match the Norwegians. I’ve never heard this music before except when kayaking farm to farm on one of the northernmost fiords. Trio Mediaeval has saved something very deep and enchanting from oblivion. (by Gio)

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Anna Maria Friman (vocals)
Linn Andrea Fuglseth (vocals)
Torunn Østrem Ossum (vocals)
Birger Mistereggen (percussion, jew´s harp

01. Det Lisle Bånet (The Little Child) 4.43
02. So Ro, Godt Barn (Rest Now, Sweet Child) 3.07
03. Villemann Og Magnhild (Villemann And Magnhild) 1.49
04. Tjovane (The Thieves) 2.36
05. Nu Solen Går Ned (The Sun Is Setting) 3:56
06. I Mine Kåte Ungdomsdagar (In My Reckless, Youthful Days) 3.41
07. Gjendines Bådnlåt (Gjendine’s Lullaby) 3.52
08. Buremarsj Frå Gudbrandsdalen (Wedding March From Gudbrandsdalen) 3.05
09. Rolandskvadet (The Song Of Roland) 2.49
10. Solbønn (Sun-Prayer) 1.20
11. Eg Veit I Himmerik Ei Borg (I Know A Stronghold In Heaven) 2.57
12. Nu Vilar Hela Jorden (All The Earth Now Rests In Peace) 3.28
13. Springdans Fra Vestfold (Dance From Vestfold) 1.37
14. Eg Aktar Inkje (I Don’t Think Much Of Those Boys) 1.36
15. Den Elskte Jerusalem (Beloved Jerusalem) 3.24
16. Till, Till Tove 4.54
17. Lova Line 3.44
18. Danse, Ikke Gråte Nå (Dance, Do Not Cry Now) 1.58
19. Den Signede Dag (The Day Of Joy) 2.49
20. Folkefrelsar, Til Oss Kom (Saviour Of The Nations, Come) 3.02

CD1* (coming soon)