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Allegri,Gregorio

rome publ sistine voices

Allegri, Gregorio, Italian singer and composer; b. Rome, 1582; d. there, Feb. 7, 1652. He was a choirboy at S. Luigi de Francesi in Rome (1591–96), and then a tenor there until 1604. He also received instruction from G. M. Nanino (1600–07). After serving as a chorister at Fermo Cathedral (1607–21), he was maestro di cappella at S. Spirito in Sassia (1628–30) and then a member of the papal choir in Rome. Allegri remains best known for his Miserere for 2 Choirs in 4 and 5 parts, a Psalm setting sung each Holy Week at the Sistine Chapel in Rome. It was this work that the youthful Mozart is reported to have heard twice during his visit to the Sistine Chapel, and then wrote it down from memory in spite of the ban on its publication on pain of excommunication. The work was finally publ. via the efforts of Charles Burney by Novello in London. Allegri also composed Masses, Lamentations, and a Te Deum, and likewise publ. Concertini for 2 to 5 Voices (2 vols., Rome, 1618-19), Motecta for 2 to 6 Voices (Rome, 1621), and Sinfonia a 4 (ed. by A. Kirchner in Musurgia universalis, Rome, 1650).

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