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  • Carnegie Hall Presents
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Trio Mediaeval

Thursday, October 20, 2016 7:30 PM Weill Recital Hall
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Medieval English carols and Italian devotional songs are interspersed with traditional Norwegian hymns and a liturgical chant honoring a 14th-century Icelandic saint. It’s Trio Mediaeval’s fascinating musical journey based on its bestselling album Aquilonis. The New York Times praised the trio’s voices, which “blended with a supernatural clarity and beauty that might cause even a confirmed agnostic to contemplate a spark of divinity.”

Part of Salon Encores.


Trio Mediaeval
·· Anna Maria Friman
·· Linn Andrea Fuglseth
·· Berit Opheim

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately one and one-half hours, including one 20-minute intermission. 

The Program

It’s tempting to see the idea of aquilonis, which means “of the north wind,” as a metaphor—the fresh north wind driving the creative vocal endeavors of three Scandinavian women south toward Europe and the Americas. The music on tonight’s program can indeed be seen as a journey from the cool north to the warm south. But aquilonis also represents a snapshot of the trio’s own musical journey through time, an adventure that began with singing medieval polyphony to develop their unique sound world; from there, they would explore that mysterious nexus where the medieval meets the present. The inspiration to form Trio Mediaeval came from Linn Andrea Fuglseth’s revelatory encounter, while a conservatory student at the Guildhall School, with “Alleluia: A newë work”—one of three English medieval carols performed tonight. That single piece, with its exotic mixture of modal surprises and spectacular virtuosity, was where it all began.


Trio Mediaeval

Anna Maria Friman
Linn Andrea Fuglseth
Berit Opheim

The brilliant Scandinavian singers of Trio Mediaeval have created a fascinating and unique world of sound, which they portray with unerring virtuosity. Founded in 1997 in Oslo, Trio Mediaeval has a specialized repertoire of ballads and songs from the Norwegian Middle Ages; polyphonic music from medieval England, France, and Italy that the women arrange themselves; and contemporary works written specifically for the ensemble.

The group has performed throughout Europe, giving concerts in such prestigious venues as the Oslo Concert Hall, Bozar in Brussels, London's Wigmore Hall, Concertgebouw Brugge, and Vienna Konzerthaus. Several engagements have also taken them outside of Europe, including performances at the Hong Kong Arts Festival and Carnegie Hall. Trio Mediaeval's first CD on ECM Records, Words of the Angel, immediately reached the top 10 on Billboard's classical albums chart in 2002. The album Folk Songs was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Chamber Music Performance category. Their latest CD, Aquilonis, was released in 2014 on ECM.

Collaborating with Michael Gordon, Julia Wolfe, David Lang, and Ensemble Musikfabrik, Trio Mediaeval premiered the oratorio Shelter--its biggest contemporary multimedia music project to date--in Cologne in 2005; it was fully staged the same year at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Wolfe was so fascinated by the trio members' voices that she wrote a piece for them entitled Steel Hammer. Together with Bang on a Can All-Stars, Trio Mediaeval premiered Steel Hammer at Carnegie Hall in November 2009; four years later, they performed it in Belgium and Sweden, and at the Barbican Centre in London. A recording of Steel Hammer was released by Cantaloupe Music in April 2014.

In the 2016-2017 season, Trio Mediaeval premieres its Aquilonis program in the United States, returning to Carnegie Hall, among other venues. The group also presents Aquilonis on tour in the Netherlands. In addition, they are working on a new recording with trumpeter Arve Henriksen entitled RÍMUR.

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