Stella Maris

Stella Maris

by Trio Mediaeval


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Stella Maris

Thanks to the pioneering work of groups like Anonymous 4 and the Hilliard Ensemble -- to name just two -- we've gotten used to the idea that the unaccompanied vocal music of the Middle Ages can be as beautiful as anything ever composed, but it's still easy to be awestruck by the exquisite sounds made by the women of Trio Mediaeval. On Stella Maris, their third release for ECM -- a label whose trademark acoustic resonance fits the Trio like a glove -- they reprise their approach of combining old with new: Halfway through, the disc jumps from the 13th century to the 21st. That leap isn't as jarring as it might sound, however, and unless you are following along closely it might take a while to realize that the Missa Lumen de Lumine wasn't written by an anonymous friar or abbot but rather by young Korean composer Sungji Hong. Dedicated to the Trio, Hong's radiant Mass does explore some harmonies and vocal colors that would have been foreign to the composers of many centuries past, yet its direct expressive aim and contemplative clarity make it an eloquent complement to early sacred music. As for the first half of Stella Maris, it offers a well-chosen variety of French and English works, most in the form of conductus (featuring a strong rhythmic component rather than chant-like freedom). Some are florid, some are simple, some are almost architectural in their grandeur, but Trio Mediaeval illuminates them all with a vocal purity and intensity that brightly outshines the current competition.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/27/2005
Label: Ecm Records
UPC: 0028947630210
catalogNumber: 000505702
Rank: 264800

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