The original unpublished manuscript of À la chapelle Sixtine—Miserere d’Allegri et Ave verum de Mozart
is held in the Goethe-Schiller Archive in Weimar. It shows a great deal of reworking and cancelled first thoughts but, in the light of the final published version it is interesting to see that the long recapitulation of both the Allegri and the Mozart sections was contemplated but rejected in the original version, and the musings in the coda combine elements of the two themes somewhat more assiduously than in the revision. The general tenor of the piece is the same: a set of variations on the opening of Allegri’s motet, and a more-or-less complete transcription of Mozart’s motet. The early version outstrips the later in the level of terror raised at the climax of the Miserere
before the consolation of the Ave verum
sets the work at peace.
from notes by Leslie Howard © 1998