Thursday, December 13, 2007

Spem in Alium

Wonderful piece by Tallis for 40 voices.

Saturno tip to Roman Christendom who tells of this glorious piece being sung for Eoghain Murphy's birthday celebrations. Eoghain is a splendid amateur -in the best sense- choir director and musician. I had the pleasure of meeting him in Rome where he conducted the choir for the wedding of Lord Nicholas Windsor - a belated Happy Birthday to Eoghain.

SPEM IN ALIUM numquam habui praeter in te Deus Israel qui irasceris et propitius eris et omnia peccata hominum in tribulatione dimittis. Domine Deus Creator coeli et terra respice humilitatem nostram.

HOPE IN ANY OTHER have I never had, save in Thee, O God of Israel, Thee who will be angry and yet become again gracious and who forgiveth all the sins of suffering man. Lord God, Creator of Heaven and Earth, look upon our lowliness.


JARay said...

My first flight back "home" from Perth to London was in 1979. I flew British Airways. In those days BA actually flew between Perth and London. Now, the main carrier seems to be Emirates! ( And I refuse to fly with them). All through the flight I kept on listening again and again and again to Spem in alium. It is one of my all-time favourites. It builds and builds and lowers and finally climaxes with "RESPICE". There are several versions with an organ accompaniment intruding. Thomas never wrote it that way and I shun such versions.

p.s. The callsign for BA aircraft was "Speedbird xx". Many is the time that I have heard them coming in and leaving Perth International Airport. It is more usual to hear "Emirates xx" or Singapore xx" or, even "Quants xx"!! No more Speedbirds!

Phil said...

I have happy memories of singing "Spem" and other great works when I was a chorister.

However, it seems to me that the great English choral tradition, that preserved such works is dying. In a few years time, with one of two exceptions (eg Westminster Cathedral/Abbey, S Paul's), only choirs, such as The Sixteen, will be singing complex liturgical music. The rest will either make a hash of it or be dumbed down. I don't know whether your readers will agree with me?!

The Lord’s descent into the underworld

At Matins/the Office of Readings on Holy Saturday the Church gives us this 'ancient homily', I find it incredibly moving, it is abou...