Sat 15 - Sat 15Jun2024

Spem in alium

Church of St Alphege Oldfield Lane Bath BA2 3NR

18.00 - 20.00

£18/£6 (students)

Organiser: Paragon Singers / +447552131014

Paragon Singers, in company with Dutch chamber choir Lelikoor from Amsterdam are looking forward to singing Spem In Alium by Thomas Tallis. Also known as the 40 Part Motet, Tallis’s memorable piece is a landmark in the repertoire of Renaissance polyphony. Written for eight choirs of five voices, Tallis was inspired by his Italian counterpart Striggio, who had written a mass for 40 voices a few years before. It is believed that the two composers met in London and in the wake of this encounter the Duke of Norfolk challenged Tallis to write a work for similar forces. The singers are typically ranged around a large church for maximum dramatic and vocal effect. A single voice in the first choir starts the piece, (‘I have never put my hope in any but in You, O God of Israel’) other voices being gradually added, creating waves of sound around the space, sometimes full-bodied and sumptuous, sometimes intimate. There is a spine-tingling punctuation point to listen for part way through the eight minute piece, when all forty voices sing together and then are momentarily silent before resuming. As well as the monumental Spem, Paragon Singers will join Lelikoor to perform the Lux Aeterna movement from Herbert Howells’ Requiem, Love Endureth by the contemporary composer Roxanna Panufnik, and Miserere by the Dutch composer Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck. Lelikoor will bring us some Dutch and Flemish pieces, including Salve Regina by Jacob Obrecht.

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