"They sang" says Peter Phillips "a big piece by Thomas Tallis, his Gaude Gloriosa, and there was something about the sound that really hit me. It seemed so right for the music, and I decided there and then I was going to remake it myself."
'I was thrilled and honoured when [founder] Peter Phillips approached me with an invitation to write a piece in celebration of 40 years of The Tallis Scholars,' said Whitacre. 'At around the time of the invitation I visited Paris and was captivated by its sheer beauty, and particularly Sainte-Chapelle, the 13th century chapel. Some 6,458 square feet of tall stained glass windows lead relentlessly to an intricate rose window within this mesmerising, Gothic edifice. I turned to my long-time friend, collaborator, poet and historian, Charles Anthony Silvestri to work on the text for the piece, and he crafted the story of an innocent young girl, hearing angels in the stained glass gently singing the Sanctus text.' This was a delightful cameo piece of haunting beauty.
The sudden atmosphere of stillness and meditation that Arvo Pärt's music instantly communicates is one of its most appealing qualities. His Nunc Dimittis beautifully complemented Thomas Tallis' Miserere Nostri, leading in to a triumphant finale – William Byrd's "Tribue, Domine".