This is one of those pieces that once you hear it, you can listen to it over and over and over again on repeat without ever losing interest. I was first exposed to this by way of a compilation album in 1997, called Agnus Dei. I had forgotten about it for years and then some time between last year and now, I found it again and completely fell in love with it again. London-based The Sixteen completely do this piece justice and are one of my preferred performers.

Originally composed by Gregori Allegri (1582 – 1652), this piece originally could only be performed in the Sistine Chapel (unless you wanted to face excommunication). Writing it down was also forbidden. Allegedly, Mozart copied it from memory in his youth.

If you have not been blessed to hear it live, you must if you ever have the opportunity to do so. The high C performed will send chills up your spine. St. Peter in Chains Cathedral in Cincinnati was host to this glorious piece as part of their Tenebrae service (performed by their AMAZING in-house choir) and it was, for lack of a better word, epic. They perform this piece every year so keep March 27 marked in your calendars for 2013.

Below is the performance by The Sixteen that includes the English translation from the original Latin in captions. I would highly recommend their album, Sounds Sublime, which includes Miserere. You can also just buy the Miserere album.

More on The Sixteen:

Lyrics (click more):