Attention, although relatively little known, the work that we present to you today is legendary in the history of music. Composed by the Italian artist and religious Allegri (1582-1652) on the words of Psalm 51 (in which the king of Israel and prophet David asks forgiveness from God) around 1630, this a cappella song was given only during matins ( office very early in the morning) on Wednesdays and Fridays of Holy Week, only in the Sistine Chapel, in the presence of the Pope and a few kneeling cardinals, while the candles were gradually extinguished one by one.
The original score, a supposedly unique copy, was kept secret under seal. Originally, the artists of the Sistine Chapel were supposed to improvise a little bit, according to the rules in force in liturgical music.
The secrecy that surrounded this work as well as its beauty soon made it legendary throughout Europe. No one could play it outside the Vatican, because the score was not accessible. It was without counting on the young Mozart (1756-1791) who, at the age of 14, went to the right period with his father in the Vatican and was able to transcribe the work the same evening, after a single listening! Of course, he was accused of having stolen the score, because it seemed irrational that a child could achieve such a feat.
The original has unfortunately been lost, but with the help of other transcriptions, such as that of Félix Mendelssohn (who also testified to the extraordinary effect that this music had on him), we have fortunately been able to reconstruct the work. almost entirely.
Do you need to rest, gather, find inspiration? So give in to the magic of Miserere d’Allegri…