50 Shades of Classical Music

You may have heard of a little book called 50 Shades of Grey that’s currently causing something of a stir on a global scale. Written by E L James, the novel – about the relationship between a literature student and a young entrepreneur – has been the topic of much debate since it exploded onto the book scene, with people everywhere discussing its literary merit and salacious content.

But what does this all have to do with classical music, we hear you ask? Well, not a huge amount – except sales of the book have also been driving sales of Tallis’s 40-part motet Spem in alium, which features within its pages.

So many people have been buying the track from iTunes that it’s now reached number seven in the UK Classical Singles Chart, rising from 20. There is now a campaign organised by The Tallis Scholars to get it to reach number one.

“I haven’t read 50 Shades of Grey but I am most grateful to the author for introducing so many new listeners to the musical sensation that is Thomas Tallis’s Spem in alium. Written during the reign of the first Queen Elizabeth it features 40 individual voices singing in Latin that combine to a thrilling climax for the words “respice humilitatem nostram” (be mindful of our humiliation). Please buy The Tallis Scholars recording today from iTunes and we might just replace Nessun Dorma at the top of the Classical Singles Chart!” founder and director of the Tallis Scholars Peter Phillips remarked.

Who will win the race to number one? Find out on Monday!


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