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New video release: ‘Spem in Alium’ in lockdown

1 May, 2020

The word ‘quarantine’ derives from the 14th-century Venetian word quarantena, meaning ‘forty days’ – the length of time for which ships had to be isolated during the Black Death before their crews were allowed on shore.

To mark forty days of lockdown in the UK, Stile Antico has created a socially-distanced video recording of Thomas Tallis’ legendary forty-part motet, Spem in alium, whose affirmative text and monumental musical confidence resonate in these troubled times.

To produce the video, the twelve members of group each recorded multiple parts using smartphones in their own homes, and tenor Benedict Hymas painstakingly wove them together to create the final performance. The video premieres on YouTube on Saturday 2nd May at 10am London time.