Hyperion Records

Miserere mei, Deus
composer
composer
additional embellishments
author of text
Psalm 50 (51)

Recordings
'Allegri: Miserere; Palestrina: Missa Papae Marcelli' (CDGIM041)
Allegri: Miserere; Palestrina: Missa Papae Marcelli
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99Buy by post £11.75 Studio Master: FLAC 24-bit 96 kHz £15.00ALAC 24-bit 96 kHz £15.00 CDGIM041  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
'Allegri: Miserere; Palestrina: Missa Papae Marcelli' (GIMBD641)
Allegri: Miserere; Palestrina: Missa Papae Marcelli
Buy by post £16.75 GIMBD641  Gimell Blu-Ray   This album is not available for download
'Allegri: Miserere; Palestrina: Missa Papae Marcelli; Mundy: Vox Patris caelestis' (GIMSE401)
Allegri: Miserere; Palestrina: Missa Papae Marcelli; Mundy: Vox Patris caelestis
MP3 £5.49FLAC £5.49ALAC £5.49Buy by post £6.75 GIMSE401  Gimell (budget price)  
'Allegri: Miserere; Palestrina: Missa Papae Marcelli; Mundy: Vox Patris caelestis' (CDGIM339)
Allegri: Miserere; Palestrina: Missa Papae Marcelli; Mundy: Vox Patris caelestis
'Allegri: Miserere & the music of Rome' (CDA67860)
Allegri: Miserere & the music of Rome
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99Buy by post £10.50 Studio Master: FLAC 24-bit 44.1 kHz £9.00ALAC 24-bit 44.1 kHz £9.00 CDA67860  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
'The Essential Tallis Scholars' (CDGIM201)
The Essential Tallis Scholars
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99Buy by post £11.75 CDGIM201  2CDs for the price of 1  
'Exultate Deo' (CDA66850)
Exultate Deo
'Hear my prayer' (CDH55445)
Hear my prayer
MP3 £4.99FLAC £4.99ALAC £4.99Buy by post £5.50 CDH55445  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  
'The Tallis Scholars Live in Rome' (CDGIM994)
The Tallis Scholars Live in Rome
'Renaissance Radio' (CDGIM212)
Renaissance Radio
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99Buy by post £11.75 CDGIM212  2CDs for the price of 1  
'The Golden Age, Vol. 1 – Europe' (CKD052)
The Golden Age, Vol. 1 – Europe
MP3 £8.00FLAC £10.00ALAC £10.00 CKD052  Download only  
'The Music of St Paul's Cathedral' (SPCC2000)
The Music of St Paul's Cathedral
MP3 £4.50FLAC £4.50ALAC £4.50Buy by post £4.50 SPCC2000  Super-budget price sampler  
'Sacred Music in the Renaissance, Vol. 1' (GIMBX301)
Sacred Music in the Renaissance, Vol. 1
MP3 £15.99FLAC £15.99ALAC £15.99 GIMBX301  4CDs Boxed set (at a special price) — Download only  
'Sacred Music in the Renaissance, Vol. 3' (GIMBX303)
Sacred Music in the Renaissance, Vol. 3
MP3 £15.99FLAC £15.99ALAC £15.99Buy by post £17.50 Studio Master: FLAC 24-bit 44.1 kHz £24.00ALAC 24-bit 44.1 kHz £24.00 GIMBX303  4CDs Boxed set (at a special price)   Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Details
Track 1 on CDGIM201 CD1 [12'28] 2CDs for the price of 1
Track 4 on CDH55445 [13'35] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Track 1 on GIMBD641 [13'41] Gimell Blu-Ray
Track 9 on GIMBD641 [13'48] Gimell Blu-Ray
Track 1 on GIMBX301 CD1 [12'31] 4CDs Boxed set (at a special price) — Download only
Track 9 on GIMBX303 CD3 [13'48] 4CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Track 1 on GIMSE401 [12'31] Gimell (budget price)
Track 13 on SPCC2000 [13'35] Super-budget price sampler
Verses 1-6 & 19-end: Miserere mei, Deus

Miserere mei, Deus
EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Miserere story is straightforward enough. The music was written sometime before 1638; by the middle of the eighteenth century it had become so famous that the Papacy forbade anyone to sing it outside the Sistine Chapel, in order to enhance the reputation of the Papal choir. It is alleged that the music finally escaped when Mozart at the age of fourteen wrote it down from memory. That he did this is certain since, even though the actual copy he made does not survive, a letter from his father to his mother describing the incident does. In fact there were other copies of the Miserere outside the Vatican by then, though it was only about the time of Mozart’s visit in 1770 that the music became widely available.

However, just as the Pope had feared, once the Miserere was heard outside the magical confines of the Sistine Chapel, the music was found to lose its power to astonish. The problem with any performance of it, then as now, is that what Gregorio Allegri himself composed is simple and plain. Everything depends on the embellishments which are added to Allegri’s chords. There was a tradition of improvising amongst the Papal singers which no other group of singers could match, so in a way the fact that copies of the music escaped the confines of the Vatican didn’t make much difference to the fame or development of the piece: one still had to go to the Sistine Chapel to hear it sung to its fullest potential. It seems likely that the embellishments got more and more effective as the decades passed until by the end of the nineteenth century the best of them had also been written down and become part of the composition. By then they included the high C which has so characterized the piece in recent times. For modern performers there remains the option of adding extra embellishments to the ‘established embellishments’, which is what Deborah Roberts has done here. These are the fruit of her experiments across most of the 300 performances that The Tallis Scholars have given. She and I acknowledge the irony of writing down these improvisations, but if making them available in print means that yet more dazzling roulades will be invented by subsequent performers then we are probably only doing what the Papal singers did when they listened to each other centuries ago.

from notes by Peter Phillips © 2007

Track-specific metadata
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Details for GIMBD641 track 9
Artists
ISRC
GB-ADM-07-64109
Duration
13'48
Recording date
1 April 2005
Recording venue
Merton College Chapel, Oxford, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Steve C Smith & Peter Phillips
Recording engineer
Philip Hobbs
Hyperion usage
  1. Allegri: Miserere; Palestrina: Missa Papae Marcelli (GIMBD641)
    Disc 1 Track 9
    Release date: December 2013
    Gimell Blu-Ray
Show: MP3 FLAC ALAC
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