Tallis' Spem in alium's a sophisticated triumph

Classic FM's John Brunning applauds this mature recording of the Tallis piece that everyone is now talking about thanks to 50 Shades of Grey

Composer: Tallis
Repertoire: Spem in alium; Missa Salve intemerata (Mass and motet)
Artists: Oxford Camerata/ Jeremy Summerly
Rating: 4/5 
Genre: Chamber
Label: Naxos 8.557770

As well as Tallis’s magnum opus, this recording also includes Salve intermerata (Mass and motet). Tallis wrote the motet when he was in his 20s, yet it shows remarkable sophistication. The Mass is his finest pre-Reformation work, and although it was written some 50 years later, it borrows heavily from the motet. Naxos has included a bonus disc with more than an hour of early sacred music, making this exceptional value, even by its standards.