Singing ‘Spem in Alium’

Choral Singing in Southport

Visitors to Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral on Saturday morning would have been surprised, or maybe dismayed – perhaps even delighted – to see a choir of about 60 singers arranged in front of the altar trying their best to give voice to Tallis’s great 40-part motet, ‘Spem in alium’.

I say about 60 singers, because I was one of them, and had no time to count heads. I was far too busy counting beats. It has taken me over forty years of choral singing to find an opportunity of singing ‘Spem in alium’, and I had become mildly obsessed with the idea of singing this motet before my voice finally gives out. Now that the opportunity had come I was determined to do my best, and certainly wasn’t going to miss out on my first entry for want of counting!

The City of London Sinfonia say on their website: ‘We create…

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