Thomas Tallis’s motet ‘Spem in alium’, written for eight choirs of five voices, is the apotheosis of English Renaissance music. The composer weaves an overwhelming polyvocal texture from forty independent voices, an ocean of sound out of which we can occasionally catch the trace of a single voice before it submerges back into the crowd. The work points ahead to the fluctuating clouds of sound in György Ligeti’s ‘Lux aeterna’ or the spatial experiments of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s ‚Carré’.
Conducted by its Principal Chorus Master Vitaly Polonsky, the Russian MusicAeterna Choir will perform vocal music by Thomas Tallis and Henry Purcell together with contemporary works by György Ligeti and Alfred Schnittke, whose choral music is an extension of centuries-old Russian Orthodox song traditions.
The MusicAeterna Choir, which sings in Johan Simons’ new production of Gluck’s ‘Alceste’ for the Ruhrtriennale 2016, belongs to the resident company of Perm Opera House. The choir was founded by the Greek-Russian conductor Teodor Currentzis, who performed ‘Das Rheingold’ with the MusicAeterna Orchestra to great acclaim at the Ruhrtriennale in 2015.
Spem in alium
Hear my prayer
I will sing unto the lord
Remember not, Lord
Three Sacred Hymns
Choir Concerto (extracts)