Review of a Music Recording
This pair of discs by Trio Mediaeval offers an imaginative soundscape of music both ancient and new. Trio Mediaeval's approach to the ancient is laudable and lovely, but the contemporary compositions written specifically for this all female group seem to give them their truest voice. The older recording, Words of the Angel (2001), intersperses movements of the Tournai mass--one of the earliest manuscript compilations of polyphonic settings of the texts of the Ordinary—among monophonic laudae and English Marian motets and sequences. The various styles provide textural and harmonic relief, a real concern in a completely unaccompanied recording. The recording takes its name from the one contemporary composition, a 1998 work by Ivan Moody, composed for the group. This work, appearing near the end of the disc, is a harbinger of the marvelous things to come in the second recording. The newer recording, Soir, dit-elle (2004), follows the same format as the earlier by interspersing movements from Lionel Power's Missa 'Alma Redemptoris Mater' among monophonic laudae and other polyphonic compositions.
Stroeher, Vickie. Review of Trio Mediaeval, Soir, dit-elle, ECM Records 2004 and Words of the Angel. ECM Records 2001. Choral Journal 44 (May 2004): 75-76.