Building A Library: First Choice
BBC Radio 3 - CD Review
Gramophone 'Top 10' Tallis Recording (November 2015)
The Telegraph's '168 Best Classical Recordings' (January 2017)
Magnificat's tribute to Thomas Tallis, the Father of English Church Music, offers music from four to forty singers ranging from the transcendent simplicity of Te lucis ante terminum to the incomparable tour-de-force Spem in alium for forty voices. The latter is a simply spectacular performance which earned a Gramophone 'Editor's Choice' plaudit:‘This is quite the best performance of Tallis's 40-part Spem in alium that I have heard'. Magnificat's clear melodic lines, rich vocal textures and sense of spaciousness all contribute to create a well-nigh perfect performance of this mesmerising Renaissance polyphony.
Building A Library First Choice: ‘...the vocal texture is rich but clear and the singers bring out the expressive qualities of the music.' BBC Radio 3, CD Review
‘A thick and rich sound which creates a vivid performance.' Independent on Sunday
‘An outstanding performance of Thomas Tallis's Spem in alium provides a powerful cornerstone for a superbly conceived and executed programme.' Gramophone
‘The sound these singers make is exquisite.' The Sunday Times
‘The singers of Magnificat have a rich, creamy sound, well blended but with each voice part's individuality also fully audible.' International Record Review
Thomas Tallis: Spem in alium
'In Queene Elizabeths time there was a songe sent into England of 30 parts (whence the Italians obteyned the name to be called the Apices of the world) which beeinge songe mad[e] a heavenly Harmony. The Duke of ______ bearing a great love to Musicke asked whether none of our English men could sett as good a songe, & Tallice beinge very skillfull was felt to try whether he would undertake the Matter, which he did and mad[e] one of 40 p[ar]ts which was songe in the longe gallery at Arundell house which so farre surpassed the other th[a]t the Duke hearinge of the songe tooke his chayne of gold from of his necke & putt yt about Tallice his necke & gave yt him.' Anon.
So goes the story of the composition of Spem in alium, Tallis's great motet for 40 voices, recorded here, in the round, by Magnificat.
View the booklet in full here.