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Miserere mei (Gregorio Allegri)

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Music files

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'Top C' version

  • CPDL #18241:  Network.png
Editor: Rod Mather (submitted 2008-11-10).   Score information: A4, 19 pages, 159 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: 2 editions - Latin and English, both have rehearsal accompaniment, and alternative where resources can avoid the high C.
  • CPDL #16055:  Icon_snd.gif Nwc.png (NoteWorthy Composer)
Editor: Brian Russell (submitted 2008-02-17).   Score information: A4, 19 pages, 130 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: No keyboard reduction. NoteWorthy Composer file may be viewed and printed with NoteWorthy Composer Viewer.
  • CPDL #10530:  (Sibelius 3)
Editor: Philip Legge (submitted 2005-12-30).   Score information: A4, 12 pages, 104 kB   Copyright: CC BY-SA 2.5 Australia
Edition notes: Latin. Includes a keyboard reduction of the a cappella choral score. Revised on 8 April 2006 to fix incorrect display of fi ligatures.
  • CPDL #03308:  Icon_pdf.gif 
Editor: Christopher Moore (submitted 2002-03-05).   Score information: A4, 17 pages, 440 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Latin. Includes a keyboard reduction of the a cappella choral score.
Editor: Denis Mason (submitted 2001-08-15).   Score information: A4, 14 pages, 376 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Includes a keyboard reduction of the a cappella choral score. English version, original Latin version also available (ID # 2690)
Editor: Denis Mason (submitted 2001-08-15).   Score information: A4, 13 pages, 407 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Includes a keyboard reduction of the a cappella choral score. Latin version, English version also available (ID # 2947)

other versions

  • NewScore.gif  (Posted 2016-11-23)   CPDL #42015: 
Editor: Nikolaus Hold (submitted 2016-11-23).   Score information: A4, 8 pages, 114 kB   Copyright: CC BY NC
Edition notes: Latin. This version was sung by the Regensburger Domspatzen under Theobald Schrems.

General Information

Title: Miserere mei, Deus
Composer: Gregorio Allegri

Number of voices: 5/9vv   Voicing: SSATB with SSAB semichoir or soloists
Genre: SacredMotet

Languages: Latin, English
Instruments: A cappella

Published:

Description: A fauxbordon setting of the Vulgate Psalm 50 (or Psalm 51 in Hebrew numbering), with five voices, a cappella, and semi-choir of four solo voices alternating with plainchant. The version most familiar to modern listeners bears little relation to the original music composed by Allegri.

The structure of the work is most easily understood by looking at the edition of G. Schirmer, New York, 1899 (see IMSLP). The verses are alternately sung by the two choirs, each 5 stanzas, the first bar of each half in speech rhythm. In the second half of the last verse, the two choirs unite in a 9-voice setting ("tunc imponent super altere ...").

The fact that the other verses of the psalm were sung in unison voice, obviously did not have to be specially mentioned. Ben Byram-Wigfield writes: "… over the span of time through which this piece was performed, a great many chants will have been used, including those found in the liber usualis in the liturgy for Lauds on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday ... ". In his Allegri's original setting, you can find a chant different from the popular sung by the King's College Choir.

For the term 'Top C' version, see Ben Byram-Wigfield’s source overview. He calls this the "version, best known today", which maybe is only valid for the English-speaking countries.


External websites:

Original text and translations

Original text and translations may be found at Psalm 51.