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Thread: Recommendations similar to Tallis: Spem in Alium

  1. #1
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    Default Recommendations similar to Tallis: Spem in Alium

    I generally do not listen to much choral or Renaissance music, but Tallis's Spem in Alium is one of favorite pieces. It seems to stand apart from the other Renaissance pieces I've heard. It takes me to an exalted, otherworldly place. The only choral piece that has a remotely similar effect on me is Part's Tabula Rasa (I don't really know why).

    I would appreciate recommendations on similar pieces or pieces that might have a similar effect.

  2. #2
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    I think that Part's choral works share a close affinity to the sacred choral works of the Renaissance.

    I agree about Tallis' Spem in alium. It is a wonderful piece. I have listened to a broad range of renaissance choral music, mostly delving into the various masses. Spem is a bit different - a motet, unless I am mistaken. I love a lot of these choral works, but in addition to Spem, the other work that has stood out to me is Misereri from Allegri. This work was kept closely guarded by the Vatican for centuries. It was apparently forbidden to copy it, or perform it outside of the Vatican. There is a story (who knows what part truth, what part myth), that Mozart heard it performed in the Vatican, and after leaving proceeded to transcribe it in its entirety from memory.

    Give it a try. I would recommend the recording by the Tallis Scholars.

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    I have the Tallis Scholars recording of Allegri's Misereri (along with Spem in Alium). It is a lovely piece.

    The Mozart story has always amazed me. I suspect that there could be some truth to it since otherwise the music might not be available. I can understand how someone with a great ear could hear several measures of a piece and transcribe them. To listen to almost 10 minutes of multi-voice music and write all of it down later seems otherworldly to me. He certainly was remarkable, but I still have trouble with that story.

  4. #4
    DrMike
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    Hmmm, I'm not quite sure what else to recommend. I love so much of the works, but nothing stands out quite like Spem. I would recommend the various masses of Palestrina, or Josquin. Perhaps some more works from Tallis himself. The Tallis Scholars have several "compilation" CDs that review the works of various composers - they have one for Tallis himself. I don't have it, but that might be a good way to see whether Tallis himself wrote anything similar.

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    Senior Member Aksel's Avatar
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    The Jeremiah Lamentations - Tallis', that is - could be worth a go.

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    I have seen the Lamentations listed as his most notable work. I have not heard that work, but I will certainly listen to it.

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    They are beautiful pieces both of them.

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