Saturday, January 24, 2009

Sacred Music at its Heights: Allegri and Palestrina

While more will follow tomorrow on the topic of the lifting of the excommunications of the four SSPX bishops, I thought a slight interlude might be appreciated. Accordingly, I wished to share two videos of two of my own very most favourite pieces of sacred music from the Renaissance era. Neither will be surprises or new to many readers.

The first is Allegri's Miserere, a setting of Psalm 50/51 which mixes polyphony and plainchant. The text of that psalm is penitential and begins accordingly:

"Have mercy on me, O God, according to thy great mercy. And according to the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my iniquity. Wash me yet more from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. 5For I know my iniquity, and my sin is always before me...."

The second is the Kyrie from Palestrina's Missa Papae Marcelli.

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