The five-voice Spem in alium, sharing its text with Tallis’s famous setting in forty parts, is a curiosity of the Morales canon. Stylistically it would seem closer to a Franco-Flemish than a Spanish idiom, with many false relations and a thicker texture than Morales was accustomed to write. It also contains some unusual dissonance, and its repetition scheme, with a varied reprise of the first part’s ending, is similarly striking. As well as Morales, it is attributed to Nicolas Gombert and the Italian Vincenzo Ruffo; the source evidence, however, points to Morales.
from notes by Stephen Rice © 2008