Anna Maria Friman, Linn Andrea Fuglseth, and Berit Opheim give us their lovely blend of voices plus discrete accompaniment at times from the hardanger fiddle, portable organ and melody chimes. The repertoire includes Icelandic medieval chant, 12th century Italian sacred music, and some fitting 15th-century English carols for Christmastide. The modern works blend in thoroughly because they are self-consciously backward looking, so that when we hear the works by Anders Jormin, William Brooks and Andrew Smith they flow smoothly into the program. A folkishness and a purity-in-simplicity comes through to set a mood in keeping with the season.
This is music devoid of the middle-ages potboilers one hears so often in typical anthologies. The vocals are truly haunting in a folk-early way, and the ECM acoustics heighten the experience and the semantic space between us and these aetherial sounds.
I find the music enchanting.