To mark the 500th anniversary of the birth of Tallis, here are his biggest and best church compositions, performed in its customary high style by the Oxford Camerata under Jeremy Summerly (whose Fauré Requiem remains one of Naxos's all-time bestsellers). Tallis's youthful motet Salve intemerata is among the longest single-movement works of the 16th century, but it is Spem in alium, a work of Tallis's maturity, that overshadows any other English piece of the period, including those of his great contemporary, William Byrd. Scored for 40 independent voices, it is symphonic in proportion and resplendent in this surround-sound version.
After his immigration to the west in 1991, Giya Kancheli abandoned the expansive, symphonic approach he had cultivated during his years in Georgia, and opted instead to compose music for smaller, more manageable ensembles. The works on this ECM New Series disc reflect Kancheli's changed course and his simplified, if still wide-ranging, palette. Diplipito is a cryptic term, coined by poet Joseph Brodsky to mean "my work of silence, my mute creation," and Kancheli uses it to suggest a neutral state between expression and meaninglessness, implied in the singer's indistinguishable words and the cello's vaguely articulated lines.