It has taken about 330 years (plus 42) for the wonderful "Miserere" by Allegri to reach my ears.
Where have I been indeed?
I do love classical music but somehow this piece has passed me by all my life. Knowing what I know about it now, and it's enduring popularity, I am amazed that I had never heard it until only a few months ago. Well I am making up for lost time now and have played it many times since I purchased this version in September.
I latched onto it because I happened to stumble upon a programme on Radio 4 called "Soul Music" where people talked about music that has moved, touched and inspired them. That week it happened to be the "Miserere". Talk about "serendipity"!
Running through the programme was this version from 1963 and I was determined to get hold of it. I was so pleased that it was still in production as I know there have been many, many recorded versions since. Is this the definative version? I am surely not the one to judge, but I know how gorgeous this rendition is.
I am not a Christian, and rarely attend a church service, but beautiful music is beautiful music no matter what it's original purpose. The superb high notes, achingly haunting, and performed here by Roy Goodman all those years ago, really get inside you and you cannot help but feel moved. The Radio 4 programme spoke to Roy, as a grown man today, and he told about his vivid memories of that day and how it will stay with him forever. Me too now.
Some superb other pieces are featured on this album too but for me personally the Miserere is a "cut above". If you want something to take you out of yourself and away from the hectic day to day pace of the 21st Century then step back to the 17th Century with Gregorio Allegri. Find peace for a little while in the hands of Allegri, King's College Choir, Sir David Willcocks and the stunning Roy Goodman.