Trio Mediaeval, a three-women European a cappella choir, presents here a minimalist programme of medieval three-part harmony mixed with 20th century pieces in the same style.
Leonel Power's (1370-1445) Missa "Alma redemptoris mater" is presented in its entirety but broken up with pieces by English composers Ivan Moody, Gavin Bryars and Andrew Smith, and Ukrainian Oleh Harkavyy. Power stood alongside John Dunstable as one of the great English composers of the 14th-15th centuries. This mass is probably one of the earliest to use the same "cantus firmus" in all four movements. The chant is repeated by the low voice throughout while the two upper voices create an intricate counterpoint.
The contemporary composers here draw their inspiration from ancient texts and chants to make their own individual polyphony, but sharing the same austere atmosphere as Power's mass.
Trio Mediaeval follows in the footsteps of Anonymous 4 in bringing the beauty of Medieval a cappella vocal music to the public. Tonally Trio Mediaeval is very similar to Anonymous 4 but doesn't quite match that group's precision of vocal delivery. Nevertheless, a nicely recorded album with a touch of cold beauty.