Tallis Scholars release Whitacre premiere on iTunes only

- 18 March 2013

Peter Phillips, left, with Eric Whitacre

The Tallis Scholars has released its recording of Eric Whitacre’s Sainte-Chapelle, premiered at the group’s 40th anniversary concert in St Paul’s Cathedral earlier this month, exclusively through iTunes on the Mastered for iTunes format.

After the initial exclusive release it will be available to download from the Gimell website in studio master quality. The first broadcast will be made on Classic FM’s Smooth Classics this evening (18 March) at 10pm.

Steve Smith, who has produced recordings for The Tallis Scholars since 1977, said: ‘This is the first recording by The Tallis Scholars in nearly 30 years not to be released on CD. The new higher-quality Mastered for iTunes format opens new opportunities &#8210 it is particularly liberating to be able to record and release a new work just days after the world premiere without having to record other works to fill the CD.’

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”’.

The recording was made in Merton College Chapel, Oxford. It is the first recording of work by a living composer since the group’s 1984 release of John Tavener’s Ikon of Light, Funeral Ikos and The Lamb.

The concert in St Paul’s Cathedral on 7 March launched a world tour of nearly 100 concerts that will see The Tallis Scholars performing in the USA, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Australia and many festivals and concerts across Europe.

The exact anniversary of their first performance on 3 November 1973 will be marked by a special concert in Canterbury Cathedral.

The track can only be downloaded (£0.79/£1.29 with booklet) from the iTunes Store, for which you must download the iTunes application. Search for ‘Sainte-Chapelle’. Click here for more details.

Read CM’s recent interview with Peter Phillips.

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