Spem in Alium
Thomas Tallis


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This has appeared in every Hall of Fame chart, peaking at number 78 in 2013 following on from its use in the best-selling book 50th Shades of Grey the previous year. Tallis is an Ultimate Hall of Fame One Hit Wonder.

Tallis was no spring chicken when he set about finding the choral Holy Grail. Although it's hard to pin down, with no records of him at all before he was an adult, it would appear he was not far off seventy when he set the words of the Matins response, 'I have never put my hope in any other but you, O God of Israel'.

The Tallis Scholars performing Spem in alium in St Paul's Cathedral. © Clive Barda.