Trio Mediaeval - Stella Maris

Published Thursday 29th September 2005
Trio Mediaeval - Stella Maris
Trio Mediaeval - Stella Maris

STYLE: Choral
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
LABEL: ECM New Series 476

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

This is the Trio Mediaeval's third release since the members started to work together in 1997. Once again superb singing is combined with a mixture of ancient and modern music. 'Stella Maris' includes chants from the 13th century English and French Conductus traditions as well as a new sacred composition commissioned by the Trio: a setting of the Latin Mass by the Korean-born Sungji Hong. The end result is difficult to categorise. I have labelled it as "choral" as the music is all sung a cappella although three sopranos do not a choir make. The words are worship, so far as I can make out: the Latin texts are untranslated but one can get the gist. The atmosphere is almost ambient: those who like listening to Gregorian Chant as "chill-out" music might enjoy this. The easiest comparison would be with the Mediaeval Baebes who also have dipped into the deep well of early music but the Trio Mediaeval are technically better singers and treat their material with more respect.

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