Saturday, November 07, 2020

Saturday music spot: Allegri "Miserere," the Kings College 1963 recording

I picked this music slot as Britain starts the first weekend of the second COVID-19 because of the sentiment of the lyrics. 

The words were translated into English by Sir David Willcocks who also conducted this recording Allegri wrote in Latin but the words are originally from Psalm 51..

The first line is "Have mercy upon me, O Lord, have mercy." 

A prayer from the Psalms which seems as appropriate to this time as it did when Gregorio Allegri wrote the music or King David the words. 

This is a very old and very well known recording dating back not far short of sixty years, made by the choir of King's College Chapel Cambridge. So the 12 year old boy with beautiful voice who sings the solo part, Roy Goodman, will turn 70 in a few months' time. 

Having listened to this recording from various sources over the decades I wondered for years what became of Roy Goodman. This morning while writing this post it occurred to me that I might now be able to find out. 

And sure enough, thanks to Tim Berners-Lee it took me five seconds to find out that Roy Goodman studied at the Royal College of Music, became a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists and Associate of the Royal College of Music and became a conductor and violinist. He has also served as Director of Music at the University of Kent in Canterbury and Director of Early Music Studies at the Royal Academy of Music as you can read here

What a fascinating world we live in when knowledge is so widely, quickly and easily available for good or ill. Our generation will be judged by our descendants on how we used all that knowledge: we should try harder to do more good and less evil.

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