Spem in alium. Vidi aquam ORA Singers & Suzi Digby
Label: Harmonia Mundi
Artist: ORA Singers & Suzi Digby
Composer: William Byrd (1543–1623), Thomas Tallis (1505-1585), Philip Van Wilder, Dericke Gerarde, Alfonso Ferrabosco (1543-1588)
Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)
- Thomas Tallis (1505 - 1585):
- 1Spem in alium nunquam habui (Forty-Part Motet)09:19
- Derrick Gerarde (1540 - 1580):
- 2O Souverain Pasteur et Maistre05:24
- Alfonso Ferrasbosco I (1543 - 1588):
- 3In Monte Oliveti04:04
- William Byrd (1540 - 1623):
- 4Domine, salva nos03:06
- 5Fructum salutiferum00:28
- Derrick Gerarde:
- 6Tua est potentia03:39
- Philip Van Wilder (1500 - 1553):
- 7Pater Noster04:08
- Thomas Tallis:
- 8In jejunio et fletu04:15
- Alfonso Ferrasbosco I:
- 9Decantabat populus Israel03:04
- 10Ex altari tuo, Domine00:30
- Alfonso Ferrasbosco I:
- 11Judica me, Domine07:08
- William Byrd:
- 12Fac cum servo tuo04:17
- Thomas Tallis:
- 13Derelinquit impius03:42
- Philip Van Wilder:
- 14Vidi civitatem08:06
- James MacMillan (b. 1959):
- 15Vidi aquam (Forty-Part Motet)09:07
Info for Spem in alium. Vidi aquam
Throughout 2020 ORA Singers was looking forward to celebrating the 450th anniversary of one of choral music’s most iconic works, Spem in alium, with a series of exciting live events. As with so much else, COVID-19 has forced us to rethink our plans, but we are delighted to say that it will not stop us in giving this extraordinary musical masterpiece the attention it deserves!
Composed by Thomas Tallis, favourite composer of Tudor monarchs from Henry VIII to Elizabeth I, Spem in alium has an extraordinary 40 separate voice-parts; a huge task that could only be achieved by a true master of his art.
To mark the anniversary, ORA Singers commissioned a modern master of choral music, Sir James MacMillan, to write a reflection to Spem in alium. The piece has been described as a "shattering experience" by Stephen Fry, a "tour de force" by ORA Director Suzi Digby, and composer John Rutter wrote that it is “an extraordinary piece, like a new-born free spirit rising from the body of Tallis's Spem.”
This programme brings together a true choral landmark from the sixteenth century, Spem in alium, with its present-day reflection, a commission by Sir James MacMillan. These two monumental, large-scale works bookend a ‘tasting menu’ of Renaissance works much smaller in scope. Their composers range from the recognised names of Byrd and Tallis to others that are currently less well-known but worthy of note, such as van Wilder, Gerarde and Ferrabosco, with some works recorded for the very first time. Common to them all is a link to Nonsuch Palace, arguably the location of the first performance of Spem in alium, and the centre of a rich vein of Tudor musical patronage. We hope you enjoy this musical banquet from a previous Golden Age and place: flavours in the shadow of Nonsuch.
Suzi Digby, conductor
is a professional vocal ensemble made up of some of the leading singers in choral music, founded by Suzi Digby OBE. ORA seeks to captivate audiences with the highest standards of musical excellence combined with a fresh and engaging approach to performance. ORA is not just about singing, though that is at the core of its being, it is also about engaging audiences on many levels with a dramatic and all-encompassing approach to performance that makes true ‘events’ out of concerts.
ORA came into being through a belief that we are in a second golden age of choral music, matching that of the Renaissance. The choir’s performances and recordings showcase ‘classic’ masterpieces of Renaissance choral music alongside specially commissioned reflections from prominent and award-winning contemporary composers.
Suzi Digby OBE
was born in Japan and lived in Hong Kong, Mexico and the Philippines before settling in London & Cambridge. She is an internationally renowned Choral Conductor and Music Educator. She has trail-blazed the revival of singing in UK schools and the community over two and a half decades.
Suzi founded and runs the following influential National arts/education organisations: The Voices Foundation (the UK’s leading Primary Music Education Charity); Voce Chamber Choir (one of London’s finest young Chamber Choirs); Vocal Futures (Nurturing young [16-22] audiences for Classical Music); Singing4Success (Leadership and ‘Accelerated Learning’ for Corporates) and The London Youth Choir (a pyramid of 5 choirs, 8-22, serving all ethnic communities in London’s 33 boroughs). Suzi is also a visiting Professor at University of Southern California (Choral Studies) and in 2014 launched her Californian professional vocal consort, The Golden Bridge.
As a conductor, Suzi’s 2011 debut with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (Vocal Futures’ Bach’s St Matthew Passion) was met with outstanding critical acclaim: “Choral wizard”, “The mother of all music”, The Telegraph; “Sensitive and accomplished conductor”, Musical America; “A serious force for good within Britain’s music education system”, New Statesman. Suzi annually conducts 2,000 voices in the Royal Albert Hall in a scratch Youth Messiah which, last year, this was awarded Best Classical Music Education Initiative Nationwide by popular Classic FM vote. Suzi has conducted many major choral-orchestral works with, amongst others: BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Mozart Players, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Brandenburg Festival Orchestra. Venues at which she has conducted include The Royal Albert Hall; St John’s Smith Square; the Gstaad Festival; Ambika P3, London; St Martin in the Fields; St James’ Piccadilly; King’s College Chapel, Cambridge; and (with the Rolling Stones) O2; Glastonbury Festival and Hyde Park.
Suzi is a Trustee of Music in Country Churches, among other music and education charities. She is Past President of the Incorporated Society of Musicians and was Acting Music Director of Queens’ College, Cambridge (where she founded and runs the Queens’ Choral Conducting Programme). Amongst many TV appearances, she was judge in BBC1’s hit show, Last Choir Standing with over seven million viewers. She regularly adjudicates choral competitions and gives workshops and lectures around the world.