Grieg composed his setting of the Vespers hymn to Mary Ave Maris Stella (Hail Star of the Sea) in December of 1898. The first setting that he wrote was as a solo song for his cousin the soprano Nina Hagerup but at some time during the following year he changed his mind and rewrote it as a mixed-choir arrangement he published it together with Blegnet, segnet (Withered, Fallen) as Two Religious Choral Songs in 1899. The first time I heard it it came as quite a shock as it was so unlike both the plainsong and the Renaissance era polyphony that I was used to and yet I could hear echoes of both. I soon came to love Grieg's setting it's very short, this performance lasts a bit over two and a half minutes in fact it's almost a miniature – of which Grieg wrote many. I love its concision and clean melodic lines that subtly highlight and emphasise the text. Enjoy :-).