Allegri, Gregorio


An Italian priest, who came from the same family as Correggio, the great painter. He was born in Rome and was a pupil of Nanini. He was for several years composer and choirmaster of the Cathedral at Fermo and while there, his music attracted the notice of Pope Urban VIII. who appointed him chorister in the Apostolic Chapel. He wrote a great quantity of sacred music, much of which was never published. His most famous composition is his Miserere for two choirs, which is still sung in the Sistine Chapel on every Good Friday. The music of this Miserere is very simple, its beauty depending entirely upon embellishments, which give it a peculiarly pathetic quality and it can be sung with this effect only by the one choir to which the directions of the author have been handed down. At one time it was a crime punishable by excommunication to copy this music. The printed works of Allegri were two volumes of Motetti and two of Concertini.