“You cannot touch it, nor see it, nor repress it nor confine it, but we listen to and let it into our hearts and minds, touching and engaging us in a total and abstract experience.”
~ Marco Frisina, Italian priest and composer
I listen to sacred music – a lot. I love such music (the older the better!) for the way they are able to lift me to another plane. For a few years now, I’ve been a tenor in a music group that focuses on medieval sacred music. We perform regularly in churches and in public. We do the works of such Flemish masters as Joaquin des Pres, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestina, as well as English composers like Thomas Tallis. Our members include many who are not of the faith but nevertheless embrace music that deeply touches the soul or points us to something greater than ourselves. Music that possess these attributes, whether sacred or secular, never have expiry dates. As an example in the realm of sacred music, I like share a Latin song by the renowned Italian composer, Marco Frisina, entitled, “Miserere mei, Domine” (Latin for “Have mercy on me, O God”). Listening to the piece, one is invariabl transported into another place and time, perhaps centuries ago, though the piece was composed in 2011! This is the timeless quality of sublime sacred music I was talking about.
First, a word about Marco Frisina. Born in 1954, Frisina is a Roman Catholic priest and composer of liturgical, opera and film music. In 2007, he completed the ambitious project of bringing Dante Alighieri’s masterpiece La Divina Commedia to the musical stage in which the poet’s verses are flanked by acrobatic dance, music, and 3-D projections. He is currently director of the Pastoral Worship Center at the Vatican.
Here is the beautiful song of prayer, ‘Miserere mei, Domine’ (Have mercy on me, O God) by Marco Frisina, from his album Laudate Dominum released in 2011. I hope you like it.