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Mixed Company is written by Saint Paul Sunday staff, giving you a behind-the-scenes look at the show and the classical music they love. We welcome your online comments.

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September 29, 2005

Going Their Own Way

Trio Medićval has soared to the top of the classical charts in short order, and as soon as they began to perform for this program we knew why… Aside from the sheer beauty and power of their singing, they venture well beyond the bounds their early repertoire would traditionally impose on them. They sing music originating in the echoey all-male world of the early church, taking it out of that initial context to a fairly radical degree and juxtaposing it with remarkable contemporary works of composers who know and write for them. The contrast of old and new intensifies the emotional force of each, yet the overall effect is of timelessness—nowhere more keenly apparent than in the haunting Nordic folksongs that conclude the hour.

On the afternoon before our evening recording session, which took place in an acoustically excellent church nearby, we called Trio Medićval several times at their hotel to go over logistics (there are always many). As the blustery afternoon wore on, we grew concerned that we hadn’t heard back, not least because one of them had just weeks earlier recovered from pneumonia. When we did hear, with just 30 minutes spare, they told us they’d had a relaxing afternoon of walking and shopping and seemed mystified by our concern. Soon enough they were singing their hearts out, wrapped in beautiful new winter scarves to keep their throats warm in the chilly nave. By then it made perfect sense.

Posted by Vaughn Ormseth at September 29, 2005 9:55 AM



Here it was,a blissfully sublime early fall morning in Rochester New York and I was half-heartedly lamenting that my plans for the day had gone awry. I decided to tuck my 15 year old beagle in the car with me and we started off on a rather aimless drive towards the Finger Lakes Region. The day was gorgeous. I turned on the radio to my favorite 91.5 and became spellbound by Trio Medieval. It has been a long time since I have been able to spend an hour completely relaxed and to have had the pleasure of such beautiful music!Thank You St.Paul Sunday and thank you to the Ladies of Trio Medieval. I will cherish the memory!

By Karen Nitschke at October 2, 2005 7:02 PM


A number off months back, I bought Trio Medieval's 2nd CD based on an enticing synopsis( the ECM label helped, too. I've been an ECM label fan for most of my life.) from a mail order catalogue called Daedalus. The gamble turned out to be a wise one; I really liked them. But I fell in love with them in their "live" church performance for St. Paul Sunday. Somehow they felt more immediate on the radio, with Bill McLaughlin presiding, & knowing they were here in town, too somehow enhanced my appreciation! The Norwegian pieces @ the end were a specal surprise. Trio Medieval & Voices of Ascention are now my very most favorite choral artists!

By Vinca K. Renner at October 3, 2005 10:45 AM


Karen and Vinca, these are great stories! When we did the recording another public radio staff member who doesn't work on the show came to watch. He is Scottish and said that while he hadn't heard Trio Mediaeval yet, his parents in Scotland were raving about them so he had to come hear them in person. Vinca, I'm impressed that you bought their recordings 'sound unheard.' I think a lot of people (myself included) tend to buy albums that are personally recommended to us by someone we trust, someone we consider to be a cultural connoisseur. How and when did you become a fan of this record label?

By Suzanne Schaffer at October 4, 2005 10:06 AM