How Mozart leaked a secret score to the public

Baroque theme
The Vatican’s once hidden splendor. © Charles Thibo

The Vatican and its many secrets – we didn’t need Dan Brown, author of the bestseller “The Da Vinci Code”, to lift the veil that hid what the Papal State wanted to remain unknown. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart did it before. While he stayed in Rome in 1770  he heard Gregorio Allegri’s “Miserere”, which is performed annually during the Holy Week by the Papal choir. He memorised the ornamented sections, kept secret up to then, copied them to paper and had them published through a middleman, the organist, composer and music scholar Charles Burney.

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