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Tenebrae visits Ely Cathedral for a spectacular concert as part of the Aldeburgh Festival, performing music written for great spaces and sacred rituals: the 20th-century John Tavener, whose work looks back through the ages to draw its inspiration from chant and devotion, and the Renaissance figurehead Tallis, whose famous 40-part motet Spem in Alium (“Hope in any other”) is of impressive scale and beauty. Unsuk Chin’s companion piece draws on fragments of its melody and harmony – a method also used by Roderick Williams, whose colourful Ave Verum Corpus Re-imagined is based on a work of Tallis’ contemporary William Byrd. The programme is completed by gloriously colourful and dramatic works by composers Sir James MacMillan, Eric Whitacre, and Judith Weir.


Gibbons, arr. Forshaw: Drop, drop slow tears
Tavener: Song for Athene
Byrd: Ave verum corpus
Roderick Williams: Ave verum corpus Re-imagined
Tavener: Hymn to the Mother of God
Judith Weir: A Wreath
Tavener: Mother and Child


Tavener: Funeral Ikos
Eric Whitacre: When David Heard
Unsuk Chin: Nulla est finis – a prelude to ‘Spem in alium’ (first UK performance)
Tallis: Spem in alium
James MacMillan: The Gallant Weaver
Eric Whitacre: Her Sacred Spirit Soars


Nigel Short, Tenebrae