Home Read Classic Album Review: Madrigaïa | Viva Voce

Classic Album Review: Madrigaïa | Viva Voce

The chorale sextet offer meticulously arranged, bewitchingly soothing fare.

This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


It would be easy to dismiss Madrigaïa as the Mænitoba Bæbes. Easy, but not even remotely fair.

Sure, there’s more than a passing similarity between this local vocal sextet and U.K. chorale outfit Mediæval Bæbes: The all-female lineup, the a cappella vocals, the linguistic adventurousness. But there’s one big difference: Talent. The women in Madrigaïa can not only sing; they also know how to sing as a group, intertwining their individually pristine vocals with effortless grace into a gorgeous tapesty of harmony. Which could be why they only need six members to do everything the dozen-strong Bæbes can do and more. And why their impressive debut full-length Viva Voce — 15 meticulously arranged, bewitchingly soothing traditional tunes sung in French, Yiddish, various Eastern European languages and even Mi’kmaq — is far more listenable than the last couple of Bæbes albums. And why they have been getting plenty of attention on the national scene of late. Viva, indeed.