John Brunning talked Whitacre, Tallis, and 50 Shades of Grey with Tallis Scholars director Peter Phillips as the renowned choir prepare for their 40th anniversary world tour.
Renowned singers The Tallis Scholars are celebrating their 40th anniversary in 2013, and celebrating the milestone with a celebratory performance of Tallis' Spem in alium in St Paul's Cathedral on 7 March.
The group and their recording of Tallis' spectacular motet shot to fame earlier this year as the 50 Shades phenomenon took hold. Readers who had never experienced the music were prompted to buy the recording after it was featured in E L James' raunchy novel, propelling Phillips and his choir to the top of the classical charts.
"You can't buy publicity like that," said Phillips. "It's been terrific publicity, and the music stays the same."
The singers are also championing living composers in their anniversary year, performing works by popular choral composers Eric Whitacre, Gabriel Jackson, and Arvo Pärt.