03 March 2011

Forty Part Motet

Currently here at The Great Hall until 20 March is The Forty Part Motet which is a recording of forty separate voices of the Salisbury Cathedral Choir singing the Latin chant ‘Spem in Alium’ by Thomas Tallis (hear a version on You-Tube). Each individual voice is played back through one of the forty speakers positioned around the Hall. Standing in the middle it's really very impressive to hear the whole choir or move closer to each speaker to hear a single choral voice and The Hall is a great setting for this amazing sound.

The Forty Part Motet is the work of Canadian born artist Janet Cardiff and has been shown internationally at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Fondation d’enterprise in Tokyo and The Edmonton Art Gallery in Toronto.


  1. Right now I am being carried away even my the YouTube version. I can only imagine the flight possible in your cathedral!
    Thank you for introducing me to Spem in alium.
    A prayer from the Book of Judith?

    "I have never founded by hope on any other than
    O God of Israel, who shalt be angry, and yet be
    and who absolvest all the sins of mankind in
    Lord God, creator of heaven and earth, be mindful of our lowliness."

  2. This was so beautiful I put the u-tube on a post of mine.

  3. Thank you both for your kind words, you are right the music is really beautiful.

  4. I have always loved Tallis, ever since I heard the Tallis scholars years and years ago. This setting is absolutely marvellous.

  5. Wow! I wish I could be there. Sounds wonderful.

  6. I had never heard of Tallis before, but it's great to have discovered this music