Agnus Dei Op.11
Samuel Barber Lyrics

Agnus Dei,
Qui tollis peccata mundi,
Miserere nobis.

Agnus Dei,
Qui tollis peccata mundi,
Miserere nobis.

Agnus Dei,
Qui tollis peccata mundi,
Dona nobis pacem.

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management
Written by: Samuel Barber

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Most interesting comment from YouTube:

Barie Fez-Barringten

The music is dominated by a melody, first presented by the soprano,
which begins on a long note and then undulates in even rhythm and diatonic steps, a melisma of two measures on the words "Agnus Dei". The other voices enter half a measure later on a chord,
move to a different chord in measure 2 and sustain it throughout the
measure, while the soprano holds its first note through measure one and
moves only after the supporting chord has changed to a tension. A
similar pattern follows in measures 5 to 8 on the words "qui tollis
peccata mundi" (who takes the sins of the world), moving down on
"peccata mundi". The repetition of the call "Agnus Dei" is set as variation of the beginning, intensified by upward leaps of fifths and octaves,
and by the solo soprano reaching the highest note of the piece, C-flat.
Then the alto takes over the melody, marked "più f[orte] sempre
espressivo" (somewhat stronger and always expressive), while the soprano
sings "miserere nobis" (have mercy on us) for the first time on a counter-melody. In measure 28, the bass takes over the melody, marked "p cresc.
molto espressivo" (soft but growing, very expressive), while the three
upper undivided voices sing "dona nobis pacem" (give us peace) the first
time. In measure 35, the tenor takes over the melody, all parts are
marked "with increasing intensity", soon the soprano gets the melody,
interrupted by the alto moving in octaves, then finally the soprano
leads to the climax on the words "dona nobis pacem", ending in long
chords, fortissimo, in extremely high register for all parts, followed by a long general break. After the silence, a slow succession of chords, repeating "dona nobis pacem" in homophony in very low register, modulates to distant keys such as C major and F major. After another silence, a kind of recapitulation begins with the soprano and tenor singing the melody in unison
on "Agnus Dei ... dona nobis pacem", while alto and bass counter with
"miserere nobis". In the final line, the alto broadens the beginning of
the melody to a last "dona nobis pacem", marked "mf molto espr. sost."
(medium strength, very expressive and sustained), while the other parts
end on a very soft "miserere nobis", marked "morendo" (dying)

All comments from YouTube:

rene hommes

my Brother choose this beautiful music for his funeral two weeks ago. He didn't care for religion or sexual preferences, he just wanted to live. It wasn't ment to be, he died of cancer at the age of 43. Hope you found your peace.

Christine Langton

This is the most beautiful music I have ever heard. Recently my mother was dying in hospital and I played it softly in the background telling her the angels were holding out their hands waiting to take her home to God.  I go to pieces every time I hear it.

Lara Ahimsa

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, dona nobis pacem.


Lamb of God (Latin Agnus Dei) appears in the words of John the Baptist: "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" ( John 1:29). The words being sung are: Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis. which means: Lamb of God, you who take away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.


Please correct me if I'm mistaken, but is this Adagio for Strings with angelic vocals?

Roxanne Wood

when words fail, music doesn't.

AJ Ward

There is something about Samuel Barber's Adiago String pieces that just make your heart twinge. The song truly feels like a cry from humanity's soul more so than Samuel Barber's. As if he heard the song and replicated that harmonious cry for peace. There is this feeling of regret of not being able to obtain peace. We all want that peace within our families, friends, counties, cities, states, countries, continents and Earth herself.At some point our fighting will stop but hopefully it will stop when we see peace and not when we see the end of humanity.

French Roast

Beautiful. Regardless of your religion or beliefs, you simply can't deny that this is a truly beautiful song.

Mike Almond

+aperson1234567891098 Took your advice and agree/

French Roast

The Agnus Dei is a sacred symbol of Christianity, that's why.

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