Last weekend, College was privileged to host the world-famous The Tallis Scholars for a magnificent concert as part of the Summer Arts Programme. Arguably the best, certainly the most famous, professional chamber choir in the world, The Tallis Scholars specialise in performing music of the Renaissance. The group has been nominated for three Grammy Awards and been called "the rock stars of Renaissance vocal music" by The New York Times and “one of the UK’s greatest cultural exports" by the BBC.
They performed Thomas Tallis' 40-part motet Spem in Alium. This seminal work is considered by some to be the greatest piece of English early music. Written for eight choirs, each comprising five parts, this is rarely performed due to the numbers involved.
(pictures were taken of The Tallis Scholars during rehearsal)
Given that there are only 10 members of The Tallis Scholars, they were joined for this item in the programme by members of the College Chamber Choir. This was an amazing opportunity for our talented vocal students to rehearse and perform alongside some of the finest consort singers in the world, as well as The Tallis Scholars’ director, Peter Phillips. Opportunities for school choirs to perform Spem in Alium do not often present themselves, so it was a once in a lifetime experience for College’s singers.
In addition to this exhilarating performance, the rest of the programme was sublimely performed in this group’s iconic style, with purity of tone and amazing precision. College hopes to form lasting links with this world-class ensemble, so there will be other opportunities to experience their performance in College’s stunning Chapel.
For more information about the upcoming events in the Summer Arts Programme, click here.