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Allegri, Gregorio
Gregorio Allegri
1582 – February 17, 1652

In addition to his fame as a lauded composer, Roman Gregorio Allegri was also a priest and a singer. He worked closely with the church throughout his life, beginning as a choirboy at San Luigi dei Francesi. He studied music there while performing as a tenor soloist. He continued to perform throughout Italy, visiting cathedrals in Vallicella, Tivoli, and Fermo.

Allegri's career shifted dramatically when he was requested by Pope Urban VII to serve in the Papel Chapel in 1629, where he sang in the Sistine Chapel.

Allegri’s work focuses on compositions for church services. His pieces include works for masses, lamentations, magnificats, and solo vocal pieces. His four-part sonata for strings is considered the earliest example of the string quartet genre.

His most notable work is his nine-voice Miserere mei Deus. It was well loved by the church, and has been performed regularly at the Sistine Chapel during Holy Week to this day. It was so highly regarded that the Church banned its publication on the threat of excommunication. It wasn’t until a 14-year old Mozart secretly transcribed the piece by ear in 1770 that it spread widely.

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