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March 31, 2006

Trio Mediaeval

St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO):

The look is a serious-music take on Charlie's Angels - one blonde, one redhead, one brunette - but all with the same short, slightly punkish haircut. The sound is incredible: Whether they're singing in unison or in intricate harmony, Trio Mediaeval's blend is flawless.

They brought a splendid combination of vocalism, scholarship, musicianship and stage presence to the Sheldon Concert Hall on Tuesday evening. Linn Andrea Fuglseth, Torunn Ostrem Ossum and Anna Maria Friman sang a cappella and stayed in tune throughout.

The program was a nicely considered mix of medieval music from England and Italy, traditional Norwegian songs and contemporary works written specifically for Trio Medieval. The new pieces were very much in the spirit of the 13th century works with which they were mixed. With slightly spikier harmonies, the contemporary pieces were recognizably a part of the same sonic world.

Particularly notable were Gavin Bryars' gorgeous "Ave Regina Gloriosa" and selections from Piers Hellawell's "The Hilliard Songbook.""Hilliard's" Early Modern English texts dealt with gems and their colors, set to early 21st century music that memorably brought out those texts and their subtler meanings.

A group of three traditional Norwegian hymns proved moving and heartfelt. "Eg veit I himmerik ei borg" sounded like a Norsk "Wayfaring Stranger." The first half's closer, "Juoigam," was a purely joyous exposition on just two words: The printed notes gave the text as "Lailahelo lailalo, etc."

Posted by acapnews at March 31, 2006 12:29 AM