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The First Sunday of Lent in the Duomo and the Music Chapel

Allegri's Miserere during the Imposition of Ashes

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23 February Feb 2023 1623 23 February 2023

In the Milan Duomo, at the end of the celebration of the First Sunday of Lent presided over by the Archbishop, on Sunday 26 February 2023 at 5.30pm, during the Imposition of Ashes, according to the tradition of the Ambrosian Rite, the Music Chapel of the Duomo will perform the famous Miserere by Gregorio Allegri in its unpublished original version.

The music comes from the Sistine Chapel fund from a manuscript dated 1661 kept in the Vatican Library, namely: Sistine Chapel 205-206 (1661), ff.50v-56r, 54v-60r.

The 4 solo singers alternating with the Music Chapel in the performance of Psalm 50 in accordance with the original composition by Gregorio Allegri will sing from the internal balcony of the Duomo - located above the entrance door - in order to create the same "distant sound" effect that was historically perceived when the Miserere was performed in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.
The original version of Allegri's Miserere that will be heard in the Milan Duomo is, plausibly, the same one that the young 14-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart heard in the Sistine Chapel on 11 April 1770, transcribing it from memory, as attested by a letter written by Leopold Mozart to his wife three days later.

The first recording of this particular composition by Gregorio Allegri in accordance with the oldest existing source was made in 2015 on the Deutsche Grammophon music label by the Sistine Chapel Choir (Cantate Domino. La Cappella Sistina e la musica dei Papi) conducted by Maestro Massimo Palombella, the current Director of the Music Chapel of Milan Duomo.

Starting from the first Sunday of Lent, the Milan Duomo will offer all the worshippers and visitors a new service, by means of special QR Codes located in various places in the Cathedral: the possibility of downloading a liturgical aid in English onto your device, including the Sunday Readings and the Rite of the Mass, in PDF format.
The English-language aids, which can also be accessed through the link liturgy.duomomilano.it, are also accompanied by a second file including all the musical parts, in order to facilitate greater accessibility and openness to those from all over the world who wish to experience the Duomo in its cultural and faith dimension.