The highest of the 31 entries by Italian composers in the Ultimate Hall of Fame. This climbed to its highest ever position — number 6 — in the most recent countdown.
This piece is the stuff of legends. Well, one particular legend, to be precise. Mozart, when he was a teenager, so the story goes, once heard Allegri's Miserere being performed in the Sistine Chapel. The precocious young composer apparently scurried home and wrote down the entire work from memory. Wonderful as the story sounds, it would have been highly likely that Mozart would have come across the Miserere before, given its already significant popularity in musical circles.
The work itself is a sublime nine-voice setting of Psalm 51: Miserere mei, Deus, secundum magnam misercordiuam tuam ('have mercy upon me, O God, after Thy great goodness'). As you listen to the heavenly sound of each interweaving voice, it's fascinating to think that Allegri composed the piece for two separate choirs: one of four voices, and the other of five.
Buy your Ultimate Classic FM Hall of Fame Album now
Do you fancy an album packed full of four hours’ worth of guaranteed hits? Then the Ultimate Classic FM Hall of Fame album is right up your street!
The Movie Music Hall of Fame
Discover the nation's favourite film soundtracks in the Classic FM Movie Music Hall of Fame, featuring music by John Williams, Ennio Morricone and Hans Zimmer.
Don't miss the Classic FM Hall of Fame Hour
Join John Suchet for an hour of the very best classical music, from full-blooded Romantic concertos to delicate Classical miniatures.
Browse Halls of Fame past
Discover more about our annual chart and explore Halls of Fame past, as far back as 1996.