The Tallis Scholars release new work by Eric Whitacre

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The Tallis Scholars are one of the most globally successful and enduring exponents of a capella choral music, and are celebrating their 40th birthday in 2013. They will be appearing at Cheltenham Music Festival this year with a ‘best of…’ programme selected by their director Peter Phillips. As part of this exciting performance in the magnificent setting of Tewkesbury Abbey, The Tallis Scholars will be performing a brand new work by one of the most exciting and popular choral music composers of his generation, Eric Whitacre.

The piece, entitled Sainte-Chapelle, was commissioned by Peter Phillips exclusively for The Tallis Scholars and will be a prominent feature of their 40th anniversary tour.

The piece is inspired by the stained glass windows of Sainte-Chapelle in Paris and the Sagrada Família in Barcelona, with a text based on the Sanctus written by Charles Anthony Silvestri. It tells the story of a girl who enters Sainte-Chapelle, ‘kneels, and hears angels in the stained glass singing softly to her “Sanctus, Sanctus”’.

Eric Whitacre explained: “As the angels were singing, this light was coming through the stained glass and refracting so that it was the sound of the Renaissance, the sound of the Tallis Scholars, being refracted a little, through me.”