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Masterpiece week Tallis

Masterpiece week Tallis

  • big, bigger, biggest: Renaissance composers made a sport of writing polyphony for as many voices as possible; Spem in alium is the greatest of those works in every respect
  • Tallis may have felt that Alessandro Striggio’s Missa Ecce beatam lucem, which was sung in London in June, 1557, had set him a challenge
  • the work inspired many later artists, Janet Cardiff for instance, whose installation Forty Part Motet was exhibited by the Concertgebouw in Bruges’s St John’s Hospital in 2012
  • the motet is a plea for divine grace; this had particular significance for the Catholic Tallis who was living in Protestant England

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