for 40-part choir (8 x SATBarB) Sanctum est verum lumen was written as a companion piece to Spem in alium to celebrate the Tallis quincentenary. Jackson explores a variety of ways of combining the forty voices: there are massive contrapuntal tuttis, antiphonal exchanges between groups of singers, huge monolithic chords, and an 'über gimel' for the eight sopranos alone. The piece is essentially about light, and the text, though funereal in origin, is radiantly optimistic and invites a variety of ways of evoking that sense of light in music - from gentle luminosity to fiercely dazzling brightness.
Gabriel Jackson (b.1962)
"Sanctum est verum lumen itself comes across as an astonishing tour de force, the strands of musical texture cascading through this vast choir with glorious luminosity." - Marc Rochester, Gramophone, May 2009