Press Release – Chamber Music New Zealand
“The rock stars of Renaissance vocal music” – New York Times
Internationally-acclaimed renaissance choir The Tallis Scholars tour to Wellington for the first time this month, performing in St Paul’s Cathedral as part of the Chamber Music New Zealand 2013 season.
Celebrating 40 years since their formation, The Tallis Scholars have more than 70 award-winning recordings and are acknowledged as having done more than any other vocal group to establish sacred vocal music in the Western classical repertoire.
The vocal ensemble recently shot to popular public attention after their famous work Spem in alium featured in the controversial literary sensation Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James. So many readers of the book downloaded The Tallis Scholars’ recording that it rose to Number One in the UK’s Classical Singles Chart.
Composed around 1570 in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Spem in alium is written for eight unaccompanied choirs of five voices each, and is one of the most remarkable choral works ever written.
The 10 members of The Tallis Scholars will be joined by 30 New Zealand singers to perform the 40-part work in Wellington. The New Zealand Choral Federation held auditions for singers from around New Zealand to be part of the local choirs.
The Tallis Scholars musical director and founder Peter Phillips said he was thrilled Spem in alium had attracted a large new audience. “It is one of the most remarkable achievements of the human brain, an extraordinary and moving piece written for 40 individual singers. After performing Spem in alium for nearly 40 years I still cannot conceive how Thomas Tallis set about writing it.”
As well as this stunning piece, the programme for the New Zealand tour also includes other works made famous by The Tallis Scholars: Allegri’s Miserere and Palestrina’s Missa Papae Marcelli; Elizabethan motets by William Byrd; and works from two of the most beautiful contemporary composers for voices, John Tavener and Arvo Pärt.
Tickets are available through Ticketek 0800 TICKETEK (842 538) or at www.ticketek.co.nz. >
Chamber Music New Zealand acknowledges major funding from Creative New Zealand.
TALLIS SCHOLARS Programme
Monday 21 October, St Paul’s Cathedral, Wellington
Thomas Tallis | Loquebantur variis linguis
Palestrina | Missa Papae Marcelli
Allegri | Miserere
John Tavener | The Lamb
Arvo Pärt | Magnificat
Josquin | Absalon fili mi
William Byrd | Laudibus in sanctis
Thomas Tallis | Spem in alium performed with New Zealand choristers