I thought as filmmakers, you would appreciate the wonderful story behind the existence of this piece of music, which is anyway a fantastic example of the genre.
Miserere was written in the 1630's by Gregorio Allegri as part of a religious service to be performed in the Sistine Chapel. Upon hearing it, the pope at the time felt that Miserere was so beautiful and sad that it might cause distress to the average listener. He issued an edict stating that writing down or performing Miserere elsewhere was punishable by excommunication (the most severe punishment a pope could order). For over a century Miserere was therefore only performed once a year in the Sistine Chapel, to members of the clergy and a few invited dignitaries. Of course, rumour spread of this prohibited piece of music, said to be so beautiful and sad that it might kill an ordinary person. Over the course of more than 100 years, the secrecy and mystery surrounding Miserere raised the piece to truly mythical status. Then, in the late 1700s, a fourteen year old boy managed to sneak in and hear a performance. Returning to the apartments where he was holidaying with his father, he wrote down the whole 14 minute piece entirely from memory. The Vatican learned of this breaking of the papal edict from an interview the boy gave to a British historian and summoned the boy to Rome. However, instead of excommunicating the boy, the pope praised him for his feat of musical genius and eventually lifted the ban on Miserere. In case you're wondering, the boy's name was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart!
For those interested, this piece is a great example of renaissance Antiphony and Polyphony. Antiphonal because it uses two small choirs located in different parts of the church. Therefore on the recording one of the choirs deliberately sounds a little more distant than the other.
If you can't be bothered to listen to the whole thing, at least listen to the first 2:20.
Today's monument to rock and roll excess and a budget larger than anything any of us could imagine. Does the intro solo guitar sound like it was recorded in an empty stadium? That's because it WAS. And David Gilmour demonstrating that great guitar is not about cramming as many notes into a beat as possible.
I think I love that photograph too. Pretty gorgeous lighting.
Originally Posted by JoshL
He's great live too!
Yes! I mean, not that I've seen/heard him live, myself. And not that watching/listening to him online is the same as the live experience, heheh. But one of my favorite things is... Well, I'll post it above on my previous Peter Murphy Song of the Day post so I don't barge in here.
one of the better songs off Ninth, richy. A very hit-or-miss album, but when it's good, it's really good. He's great live too!
For me, back to the depths of more Current 93. Beautiful, depressing, self-effacing. I get people who don't like David Tibet's voice, but you can't argue with the depth of the music, wrapped in simplicity.
Good old Polly Jean! I've always found her sort of hit or miss...when she's good, she's REALLY good though. Speaking of hit or miss (or rather, occasional songs that are even too weird for me), I've been on a big Kate Bush kick lately:
Cloudbursting is an awesome song. Totally dig the synth orchestral stuff...trying to sound realistic, failing, but becoming awesome in their own right. Sort of a beautiful accident there (like the mellotron). She's always been one of my favorites. Even when her albums have songs I don't like (recently, "50 words for snow" is a terrible song) the songs that are good outweigh them by a huge margin.
Isn't that funny about music? I'm not one who's good at picking out lyrics without seeing them printed out or hearing someone telling me what's what. Before looking it up on youtube, because of your Kate Bush post, Josh, I had had it my head that maybe the song was something like, about something like a Sinn Féin or an IRA guy/father being arrested and taken away by the Brits. Forgive my ignorance of Irish and British history and politics. Instead, it turns out that the song's about this "oddball" Wilhelm Reich.
Heheh, at first I resented giving up my misconceived, erroneous notion of what the song was about. But, this is nice. Ain't that the spice of life? And learnin' something new?
Anyway, how about a new one. This has a very narrative feel to it, too. Danger: the poster's video is a bit sexy (and romantic...like the song).