If you haven't noticed by now, I LOVE sacred music. I especially enjoy those works that are imbued with a sense of mysticism (mystery of God) and transcendence. At the pinnacle of all sacred works is Gregorio Allegri's Miserere (see music player on side bar), which was composed almost 400 years ago and is still performed in the Sistine Chapel during Holy Week at the Vatican. Unfortunately, not every composition can be a Miserere or a Palestrina production, but that doesn't mean they carry no beauty of their own. One such wonderful work is the marvelous Requiem by French composer Gabriel Urbain Fauré. Melodic, inventive, sometimes dark but always beautiful, this Requiem is one of my favorites by a composer outside the Baroque era. Below is the "In Paradisum" excerpt of the Requiem Mass. Note the rather playful mood that characterizes this segment of the work.