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After seducing Bathsheba and having her husband killed in battle, King David realizes the error of his ways. He then confesses to God in what would become Psalm 51, Miserere mei, Deus (Have mercy upon me, O God). Many composers in different eras have set this imploration to music. We are presenting four masterful versions by composers of various backgrounds: a version by Josquin des Prez written for Ercole d’Este (1504), Gregorio Allegri’s famous version for the Papal Chapel (1638), one by Leonardo Leo for the Chapel Royal of Naples (1739), and Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s so-called “Miserere des Jésuites” (1683).
Listen the pre-concert conversation (Mario Paquet and François Filiatrault)
Psalm 51 set to music by four composers from as many eras: Josquin des Prés, Allegri, Leo, and Charpentier