A song for Sunday – Miserere mei, Deus

In keeping with the theme of the Pope’s encyclical on climate change and the environment (which has been the subject of this week’s Some weekend reading and Saturday Quote, my Song for Sunday is Gregorio Allegri’s glorious “Miserere mei, Deus”.

Composed around the 1630s, for many years it was only allowed to be performed in the Sistine Chapel (where Pope Francis was elected, hence the loose connection with the Pope’s encyclical!) According to popular legend (and there is evidence to support the story) when Mozart was 14 he went to the Chapel and heard the Miserere. That evening he transcribed it from memory, and made corrections after hearing it again the following day. While it wasn’t the first time an illicit copy had been made, it is certainly the most famous.

This recording, by the Tallis Scholars from 1980, is the first version of the Miserere I owned. I also went to see the Scholars perform the piece in the Sydney Opera House in the 1990’s. It was enchanting.

If you liked this post please follow my blog (top right-hand corner of the blog), and you might like to watch some previous songs for Sunday (even though none of them are like this one!):

  1. Don’t pay the ferryman by Chris De Burgh
  2. Take me to church by Hozier
  3. Satellite by Lena
  4. I will survive by Gloria Gaynor (Priscilla Queen of the Desert version)
  5. Child in Time by Deep Purple (and a version by Blackmore’s Night)
  6. Dust in the Wind by Kansas

About Graeme Stuart

Lecturer (Family Action Centre, Newcastle Uni), blogger (Sustaining Community), environmentalist, Alternatives to Violence Project facilitator, father. Passionate about families, community development, peace & sustainability.
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3 Responses to A song for Sunday – Miserere mei, Deus

  1. Julie Davies says:

    I shouldn’t type on a small phone with big fingers and predictive text! :)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Julie Davies says:

    Miserere Mei is my favourite classical music. I first heard it driving into town to work. I had an upset stomach by the time it ended, wondering what I’d gotten carsick on a journey I did every day. It was you until I bought an ABC collection of 100 classics to get that one song and played it again, that I realised it was the song causing my visceral reaction.

    Liked by 1 person

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