50 Shades of Grey whips up classical storm

10 July 2012, 17:27 | Updated: 6 June 2014, 17:31

After being mentioned in E L James' new novel, The Tallis Scholars hope their recording of Spem in alium will top the UK Classical Singles Chart.

The controversial 50 Shades of Grey has taken the literary world by storm after becoming the fastest selling novel since Harry Potter. But now it seems the naughty tale has impacted the sales of classical music, as Tallis’ Spem in alium has climbed to No. 7 in the classical chart after being mentioned in the book.

The 40-part religious piece, written during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, is perhaps not the most obvious soundtrack to accompany E L James’ racy page-turner, but the recording by the Tallis Scholars has quickly climbed from No. 20 in the space of a few weeks. The text is in Latin, and is written for 40 individual singers.

Founder and director of the Tallis Scholars, Peter Phillips said: “I haven't read 50 Shades of Grey but I am most grateful to the author for introducing so many new listeners to the musical sensation that is Thomas Tallis' Spem in alium.” He hopes his recording will replace 'Nessun dorma' at the top of the chart in the coming weeks.

He may have some competition. Other pieces of music mentioned in the novel include 'The Flower Duet' from Lakmé by Delibes, and Marcello’s Oboe Concerto in D minor, transcribed by Bach.

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