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August 1, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Fifty Shades of Grey … and Thomas Tallis?

The runaway train that is “Fifty Shades of Grey” is pulling yet another car toward the station called Unexpected Fame: a 16th-century choral work written in Latin. According to National Public Radio’s Deceptive Cadence blog, Thomas Tallis’ 40-voice Spem in alium, mentioned in the first book of the E. L. James trilogy, is becoming a name brand as “Grey” fans (who now number in the billions, apparently) snap up recordings of the work. If you visit youtube.com to hear the esteemed Tallis Scholars themselves perform the work, be sure to check out the comments. No matter how you arrive at Spem in alium (“Hope in any other”), you’ll likely be amazed at this lush, poignant piece.

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