Disappointing week in terms of musical choices, hence I’m going to include the only work I truly enjoyed: “Miserere”, a sacred late Renaissance polyphonic piece composed by Gregorio Allegri, a Roman Catholic priest. This is a setting of the Psalm 51, and is surrounded by mystery, the Vatican having forbidden any copies of the work to be made and distributed, under the threat of excommunication. For more detailed accounts on the history of the piece, check out these 2 articles: 1, 2.
This work must have been overwhelming for anyone listening to it, considering its unique atmospheric performances: in the Sistine Chapel, (supposedly) in the presence of the Pope, under gradually diminishing candlelight as the candles were being extinguished one by one. I would recommend to surround yourself in total silence in order to be completely immersed in the music, a historically informed recording by the Tallis Scholars.
In compensation, I have two bonus tracks this week.
One is another Renaissance work, a madrigal by the Italian composer Francesco Patavino, “Un Cavalier di Spagna” (translated lyrics here). Listen to this one when you want something light, cheery and playful.
Jumping several centuries into the future into the Post-Romantic era, we have a Spanish folk piece by Isaac Albeniz, in a guitar transcription. “Asturias (Leyenda)” is one of the most important works of the classical guitar repertoire.