Thursday 7 May 

Zoom choirs are quite the thing at the moment.

To mark forty days of lockdown in the UK, Stile Antico created this socially-distanced recording of Thomas Tallis’ legendary forty-part motet, Spem in alium, using smartphones and tablets. They hope its affirmative text and monumental musical confidence provide hope and strength in these troubled times.

Spem in alium was composed in c1570 and is a song of hope and trust.

It is arranged for eight choirs with five voices in each and it is likely that he designed it to be heard ‘in the round’, with the audience seated within a circle of singers. Beginning with a single voice, the composer deploys as many effects as he can, displaying a mastery of being able to blend individual parts and scoring all 40 voices together at four key moments. In itself it is a picture of people working together without losing their individuality and uniqueness and of course a simply awesome musical experience especially done in these circumstances.

Stile Antico had hoped to be coming here on tour this summer and hope the affirmative text and monumental musical confidence of this piece will provide hope and strength in these troubled times.

If you would like to support musicians, then please consider making a donation to the wonderful Help Musicians, whose assistance has already been invaluable to many during the current pandemic: https://www.helpmusicians.org.uk/supp…