Saturday, September 29, 2007

Allegri Miserere

Hey, I might as well ponder Ash Wednesday almost 6 months prior, right? ;-)

Anyway, for those of you who have actually done this piece, how hard is it? ISTM that, if you split it into tutti/soli parts, it should be fairly easy, since the “tutti” parts are basically two pages of music, one of which repeats over and over.

I suppose, in my case, the problem might be getting my singers to digest that much Latin...

EDIT: The edition I think to use is this one on CPDL.

2ND EDIT: The verdict seems to be that it’s a very doable piece as long as you can accommodate the high C section - or, I would point out, use the handy fourth-down transposed version of same in the CPDL edition. ;-)


At Sunday, September 30, 2007 8:06:00 AM, Blogger Dad29 said...

The soprano tessitura is really difficult, even for mature "voice-lessoned" women.

Other than that, no sweat.

At Sunday, September 30, 2007 8:41:00 AM, Blogger Matt and Jon said...


You've got to have the soprano to do the "cool stuff" in between the tutti sections (if my memory serves me correctly). It can be very well done by a church choir. We also used it during the Veneration of the Cross on Good Friday (ours takes over an hour, so long pieces are great!).

At Sunday, September 30, 2007 8:59:00 PM, Blogger Mary Jane said...

I concur. If you don't have a soprano soloist who can sing this with ease, don't. If you do, the rest is fairly simple. But that soloist has to be reliably good on her part because there's nowhere to hide up there.

At Sunday, September 30, 2007 10:03:00 PM, Anonymous Cantor said...

I would point out that the edition in question allows people to “cheat” and do the section in question a fourth down, which is well within the range of almost any solo-quality soprano.

At Monday, October 01, 2007 1:08:00 PM, Blogger Jeffrey Tucker said...

Yes, you have to have the sop. But the part is easier than it seems.

The last page nearly killed us, not because it is difficult but because of the section shifts and parsing out that we had to do (we have 12 singers).

The other great difficult is finding the reciting tone amidst all the poly . The words are extremely difficult too. Finally, once you get the words and the notes, only 10% is done. 90% of this piece is the overall effect: the balance and sensibility. That's what consumed us completely. You have to sing it a zillion times to get the hang of it: but people cannot sing it a zillion times because it is so demanding.

That said, it is very much worth it. But start early early.

At Tuesday, January 15, 2008 3:08:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you still planning to do this? I am a Catholic and have been looking for a choir. I sing soprano....


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