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     Allegri, Gregorio (1582-7th February 1652)

    He was a priest and composer of the Roman School of Composers born in Rome, Italy.  He began his musical life as a chorister in the choir school at S. Luigi dei Francesi in Rome and he stayed there until his voice broke in 1596.  He returned to the choir in 1600 as a contralto and studied music with Palestrina's friend, Giovanni Maria Nanini, and because it was already decided that he would enter the church, he received a benefice from Fermo Cathedral.  He composed several pieces while at the cathedral and they came to the notice of Pope Urban VIII who got him accepted into the Sistine Chapel choir in Rome.  He became one of the first known composers for a string ensemble that has led to it being thought that he may have written one of the first ever string quartets.  Most of his music that was published was in a "Baroque concertato style".  His compositions include two volumes of concerti for five voices, two volumes of motets for six voices, two settings of Lamentations of Jeremiah, five masses and a four-part sinfonia, but by far the most well known and most regularly performed is the composition for a five-part a capella choir, Miserere.  After spending most of his life in Rome he died there in 1652 aged 70.

     

    Miserere recordings

    Kings College Choir/Cleobury - EMI 5 75877 2

    The Choir of King's College, Cambridge - Sir David Willcocks; Roy Goodman, treble - Decca 466 075-2

     

    Sources:

    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregorio_Allegri
    2. http://www.classical.net/music/comp.lst/allegri.html
    3. http://www.cappella.demon.co.uk/music/biog.html 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     



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