Posts Tagged ‘miserere’

Miserere – Gregorio Allegri

April 15, 2013

Performed by Pro Cantione Antiqua, artwork by Matthew Schwartz .

written by Allegri, in setting of Psalm 51 and performed only once a year at special Mass in Sistine Chapel.

It was forbidden to public for reproduction, under threat of excommunication.

Untll Mozart at age of 14 transcribed the whole music for the world to hear.

He was summoned to appear before the Pope, but Instead of excommunication, Mozart was praised by the Pope and the ban was lifted.

Sacred Music: The Story of Allegri’s Miserere

December 8, 2011

Around 1630, Pope Urban VIII heard Allegri’s Miserere for the first time. He was so moved that he decreed that it could not be heard outside the Sistine Chapel, it could only be heard once a year during Holy Week. Anyone who disobeyed would be excommunicated.

Gregorio Allegri (1582-1652), an Italian composer of the Roman School, priest and singer, and brother of Domenico Allegri, was born in Rome. He grew up under the influence of Palestrina.

A century and a half later, the teenage Mozart heard Miserere (by now the fame of Miserere had spread and everyone wished to be in the Sistine Chapel), and from two visits to the Sistine chapel was able to note down what he had heard. Word of this spread and soon reached the ears of Pope Clements XIV. Mozart was summoned to Pope Clements XIV in the full expectation that he would be excommunicated. Instead, Pope XIV Clements congratulated him. Copies of the transcript by Mozart spread across Europe like wildfire.

Over the next 200 years more and more elaborate versions moving further and further away from the original.

A runaway best seller was recorded in 1963 by King’s College Cambridge.

Founder of The Sixteen Harry Christophers has put together a much simpler version based on two manuscripts in the Vatican, which he belives is closest to the original.

Two choirs, a main choir and a quartet.

Performed by early music group The Sixteen, founded and directed by Harry Christophers.

Sacred Music: The Story of Allegri’s Miserere
The Sixteen – Miserere Mei Deus – Allegri
St James Cathedral – Victoria – The Sixteen
Hail, Mother of the Redeemer

The Sixteen – Miserere Mei Deus – Allegri

November 27, 2011

Miserere, full name “Miserere mei, Deus” (trans: “Have mercy on me, O God”) by Italian composer Gregorio Allegri, is a setting of Psalm 51 (Greek numbering: Psalm 50), it begins Have mercy on me, O God, composed during the reign of Pope Urban VIII, probably during the 1630s, for use in the Sistine Chapel during matins, as part of the exclusive Tenebrae service on Wednesday and Friday of Holy Week. The service would start usually around 3am, and during the ritual, candles would be extinguished, one by one, until one remained alight and hidden. Allegri composed his setting of the Miserere for the final act within the first lesson of the Tenebrae service. Ash Wednesday marking Christ’s return to Jerusalem.

Miserere mei, Deus: secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum, dele iniquitatem meam.
Amplius lava me ab iniquitate mea: et a peccato meo munda me.
Quoniam iniquitatem meam ego cognosco: et peccatum meum contra me est semper.
Tibi soli peccavi, et malum coram te feci: ut justificeris in sermonibus tuis, et vincas cum judicaris.
Ecce enim in iniquitatibus conceptus sum: et in peccatis concepit me mater mea.
Ecce enim veritatem dilexisti: incerta et occulta sapientiae tuae manifestasti mihi.
Asperges me hysopo, et mundabor: lavabis me, et super nivem dealbabor.
Auditui meo dabis gaudium et laetitiam: et exsultabunt ossa humiliata.
Averte faciem tuam a peccatis meis: et omnes iniquitates meas dele.
Cor mundum crea in me, Deus: et spiritum rectum innova in visceribus meis.
Ne proiicias me a facie tua: et spiritum sanctum tuum ne auferas a me.
Redde mihi laetitiam salutaris tui: et spiritu principali confirma me.
Docebo iniquos vias tuas: et impii ad te convertentur.
Libera me de sanguinibus, Deus, Deus salutis meae: et exsultabit lingua mea justitiam tuam.
Domine, labia mea aperies: et os meum annuntiabit laudem tuam.
Quoniam si voluisses sacrificium, dedissem utique: holocaustis non delectaberis.
Sacrificium Deo spiritus contribulatus: cor contritum, et humiliatum, Deus, non despicies.
Benigne fac, Domine, in bona voluntate tua Sion: ut aedificentur muri Ierusalem.
Tunc acceptabis sacrificium justitiae, oblationes, et holocausta: tunc imponent super altare tuum vitulos.

Gregorio Allegri (1582-1652), an Italian composer of the Roman School, priest and singer, and brother of Domenico Allegri. He is best known for Miserere mei, Deus, a setting of Vulgate Psalm 50 (Greek Psalm 51), written for two choirs, one of five voices and the other of four voices.

Performed by early music group The Sixteen, founded and directed by Harry Christophers.

Music of indescribable beauty, almost unbearable to listen to.

Sacred Music: The Story of Allegri’s Miserere
St James Cathedral – Victoria – The Sixteen
Hail, Mother of the Redeemer