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Sound Frontiers: Building a Library - Tallis's Spem in alium

Live from Southbank Centre in London. Including Building a Library: Tallis: Spem in alium; New music from each decade since the Third Programme's 1946 inception; Disc of the Week.

with Andrew McGregor, live from London's Southbank Centre

Building a Library: Simon Heighes makes a personal recommendation of Thomas Tallis's 40-part motet Spem in alium from among available recordings.

No one really knows what prompted Tallis's Spem in alium. One theory is that it was written as an 'anything you can do I can do better' response to a visiting Italian's forty-parter. Whatever the reason for its composition, England's preeminent Tudor composer wrote what has become one of the defining works of the English Renaissance, an unsurpassed masterpiece extensively recorded by secular and ecclesiastical UK choirs.

Southbank Centre's Director of Music Gillian Moore chooses seven signal recordings of new music, one for each decade since the Third Programme's 1946 foundation.

Disc of the Week: Andrew selects an outstanding recent release.

3 hours, 12 minutes

Music Played

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Lennox Berkeley: Sacred Choral Music
BERKELEY, L: Stabat Mater; Batter My Heart Three Person’d God for soprano, chorus, oboe, horn, cellos, double-bass and organ; Magnificat for large mixed choir, orchestra and organ
Mary Thomas (soprano), Barbara Elsy (soprano), Maureen Lehane (contralto), Nigel Rogers (tenor), Christopher Keyte (baritone), Michael Rippon (bass), Members of the English Chamber Orchestra, Ambrosian Singers, Norman Del Mar (conductor), Felicity Harrison (soprano), Donald Hunt (organ), BBC Northern Singers, Members of the BBC Northern Orchestra, Lennox Berkeley, London Symphony Orchestra, Choirs of St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral

Durufle: Requiem
DURUFLE: Requiem Op. 9; Messe Cum Jubilo Op. 11; Quatre Motets sur des themes gregoriens Op. 10
Patricia Bardon (contralto), Ashley Riches (baritone), The Choir of King's College Cambridge, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Stephen Cleobury (conductor)

Adams & Harris Violin Concertos
ADAMS, J: Violin Concerto
HARRIS, ROY: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra
Tamsin Waley-Cohen (violin), BBC Symphony Orchestra, Andrew Litton (conductor)

9.30am Building a Library

Simon Heighes compares recordings of Thomas Tallis’ 40-part motet ‘Spem in Alium’ and recommends a version. 

Building a Library Recommendations

Top recommendation:

Tallis: Latin Church Music
TALLIS: Videte miraculum; Homo quidam fecit cenam magnam; Audivi vocem de caelo; Candidi Facti Sunt; Dum transisset sabbatum; Honor, Virtus et Potestas; Hodie nobis caelorum; Loquebantur variis linguis; In pace in idipsum; Spem in alium for eight five-part choirs '40-part Motet'; Gaude gloriosa Dei mater; Te lucis ante terminum; Miserere nostri, motet for 7 voices, P. 207; Salvator mundi, salva nos 1 & 2; Lamentations of Jeremiah I & II; O sacrum convivium; Suscipe quaeso Domine; O nata lux de lumine 5vv; In ieiunio et fletu
Taverner Consort, Taverner Choir, Andrew Parrott (conductor)
ERATO 5622302 (2CD)

Other recordings:

Below is a shortlist of other recordings which Simon Heighes also liked, although we can’t guarantee the availability of these discs.

Historical recommendation:

The Choir of King's College, Cambridge, Sir David Willcocks (conductor)
DECCA 4336762 (CD)

Recommendation of version in English:

The Sixteen, Harry Christophers (conductor)

Recommendation of version with mixed voices and instruments:

I Fagiolini, Robert Hollingworth (conductor)
DECCA 4782734 (CD)

10.20am New Releases

Benjamin Grosvenor: Homages
BUSONI: Transcription of Bach's Partita BWV 1004: Chaconne
CHOPIN: Barcarolle in F sharp major Op. 60
FRANCK, C: Prelude, Choral et Fugue, M21
LISZT: Venezia e Napoli (3 pieces), S. 162
MENDELSSOHN: Prelude & Fugue for piano in E minor Op. 35 No. 1; Prelude & Fugue for piano in F minor Op. 35 No. 5
Benjamin Grosvenor (piano)
DECCA 4830255 (CD)

10.35am Gillian Moore’s Most Important Recordings of New Music

The Southbank Centre's Director of Music Gillian Moore chooses seven signal recordings of new music, one for each decade since the Third Programme's 1946 foundation.

Adventures In Sound
SCHAEFFER: Cinq Études De Bruits
STOCKHAUSEN: Studies 1-2; Gesang Der Jünglinge
XENAKIS: Diamorphoses; Concret PH
VARÈSE: Poème Électronique
HENRY: Voile D'Orphée
Musique Concrète recorded in the studios of West German Radio in Cologne and French Radio in Paris

BRITTEN: War Requiem Op. 66
Galina Vishnevskaya (soprano), Peter Pears (tenor), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone), Simon Preston (organ), London Symphony Orchestra, Melos Ensemble, London Symphony Orchestra Chorus, Highgate School Choir, The Bach Choir, Benjamin Britten (conductor)
DECCA 4757511 (2CD)

Duke Ellington: The Far East Suite Special Mix
ELLINGTON: Tourist Point of View; Bluebird Of Delhi (Mynah); Isfahan; Depk; Mount Harissa; Blue Pepper (Far East Of The Blues); Agra: Arnad; Ad Lib On Nippon; Tourist Point of View (Alternate Take); Bluebird Of Delhi (Alternate Take); Isfahan (Alternate Take); Amad (Alternate Take)
Duke Ellington and His Orchestra
BLUEBIRD 07863 66551-2 (CD)

REICH: Music for 18 Musicians
ECM 8214172 (CD)

NANCARROW: Studies for Player Piano
WERGO WER69072 (5CD)

Le Grand Macabre, Opera In Four Scenes (1997 Version)
LIGETI: Le Grand Macabre
Richard Stuart (Black Minister), Willard White (Nekrotzar), Martin Winkler (Ruffiack), Michael Lessiter (Schabernack), Marc Campbell-Griffiths (Schobiack), Frode Olsen (Astradamors), Derek Lee Ragin (Prin Go-go), Charlotte Hellekant (Amando), Jard Van Nes (Mescalina), Laura Claycomb (Amanda), Sibylle Ehlert (Gepopo, Venus), Graham Clark (Pie De Pot), Steven Cole (White Minister), London Sinfonietta Voices, Philharmonia Orchestra, Esa-Pekka Salonen
SONY S2K 62312 (2CD)

Unsuk Chin: Three Concertos
CHIN: Piano Concerto; Cello Concerto; Šu for sheng and orchestra
Sunwook Kim (piano), Alban Gerhardt (cello), Wu Wei (sheng), Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Myung-Whun Chung (conductor)
DG 4810971 (CD)

MEREDITH: Nautilus; Taken; Scrimshaw; Something Helpful; R-Type; Dowager; The Vapours; Honeyed Words; Last Rose; Shill; Blackfriars; Untitled
Anna Meredith (electronics, clarinet, vocals), Mara Carlyle (vocals), Gemma Kost (cello), Oliver Coates (cello), Sam Wilson (drums, xylophone, vocals), Jack Ross (guitar, vocals)

11.45am Disc of the Week

WAGNER: Act 1, Die Walkure
Rene Kollo (Siegmund), Eva-Maria Bundschuh (Sieglinde), John Tomlinson (Hunding), London Philharmonic Orchestra, Klaus Tennstedt
LPO LPO0092 (CD)


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