A programme based on Tallis’ famous 40-part motet, Unsuk Chin’s response to it, and the dramatic serenity of John Tavener’s powerful choral works – perfectly suited to the soaring spaces of Ely Cathedral.

Gibbons, arr. Forshaw:
Drop, drop slow tears (4’)
Song for Athene (6’)
Ave verum corpus (4’)
Roderick Williams:
Ave verum corpus Re-imagined (6’)
Hymn to the Mother of God (4’)
Judith Weir:
A Wreath (5’)
Mother and Child (10’)
Funeral Ikos (7’)
Eric Whitacre:
When David Heard (13’)
Unsuk Chin:
Nulla est finis – a prelude to ‘Spem in alium’ (first UK performance) (3’)
Spem in alium (10’)
James MacMillan:
O radiant dawn (Strathclyde Motets) (3’)
Eric Whitacre:
Her Sacred Spirit Soars (5’)

Nigel Short conductor

Nigel Short

Credit: Ali Webb

Main image: Tenebrae © Sim Canetty Clarke

Tenebrae is one of today’s finest vocal ensembles, and this programme will be performed by its 40-strong group – a spectacular line-up in a unique setting.

This is 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. Our featured composer 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 major choral composers Sir James MacMillan, Eric Whitacre, and our featured composer Judith Weir.

This event marks 60 years since the Aldeburgh Festival’s first visit to Ely Cathedral.

Book your coach seats here.

With thanks to Edmund's Trust for their kind support