Miserere (Pärt)

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Miserere is a choral work by Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. The work is set to two traditional liturgical hymns: the Miserere and the Dies irae. The piece begins with repeated pleas for mercy, interspersed with fateful pauses, until the day of wrath itself is ushered in by a thunderous drum-roll. The drum initiates each new verse, as the choir sings the most terrifying words in the Christian liturgy. Having confronted catastrophe, the choir ascends to radiant heights over the deep-throated resonance of the organ, tam-tam, and bell.[1] Typically, performances last around 35 minutes.[2] The work was composed in 1989/1992.[3]


  1. ^ Burrows, John. Classical Music (Visual Reference Guides Series) (1st ed.). Metro Books. p. 488. ISBN 978-1435121270.
  2. ^ Clarke, David (1993). "Parting Glances: David Clarke Reappraises the Music and the Aesthetics of Arvo Pärt". The Musical Times. 134: 680–684. doi:10.2307/1002929.
  3. ^ "Universal Edition Music Notes". Retrieved 2016-09-17.