If you only ever listen to another piece of music in your life, can you please, please, please make it Allegri’s Miserere mei Deus. In my collection I have a version performed by the wonderful Choir of King’s College, Cambridge. Here they are for you.
One of the most popular pieces of sacred music, this is a setting of Psalm 51 for unaccompanied voices. But not just any old setting. It is the most beautiful music you might ever listen to. It is as if angels themselves are singing. And to think we nearly did not have access to it at all.
Allegri composed it for use during Matins in the Sistine chapel in the seventeenth century, when it was forbidden to write such works down or perform them elsewhere. However, a fourteen year old W A Mozart attended a service in the 1770s and, committing it to memory, wrote it down subsequently. Once the work was published, the ban was lifted.
As you may have seen from the link above, there are various other sacred works on my Allegri CD. All of which are:
- very pleasant to listen to;
- beautifully sung;
- totally eclipsed by the Miserere.
Perhaps even angels need practice pieces?