Unlike the four-part setting of the Ave Maria for four voices Victoria’s eight-part setting for double choir (SATB + SATB) is undoubtedly by him. It was first published in Venice in 1572 and Victoria – ever the perfectionist edited no less than eight times for re-publication the last time in 1600. I’ve sometimes seen it described as a ‘sumptuous’ piece of music and ‘sumptuous’ is the perfect word for it. It’s a splendid piece of music with a great sense of spaciousness every note of which I love from the . Victoria wrote it in a very effective antiphonal style in which homophonic and polyphonic passages alternate creating a dialogue between the two choirs. It’s a deceptively simple piece of music where as Ignacio Alcala puts it "the chiarouscuros suggested by the staves acquire a special significance and endow the score with feeling and with passion". It’s sung below by the Capella de Ministrers conducted by their founder Carles Magraner. Enjoy :-).
Text & Translation: Ave Maria a 8
|Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. |
Benedicta tu in mulieribus,
et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus.
Sancta Maria, Regina caeli, dulcis et pia,
O Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus,
ut cum electis te videamus.
|Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. |
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Queen of Heaven, sweet and good,
O Mother of God, pray for us sinners
that with the chosen we may see thee.
Scores available from here: Ave Maria a 8 (Tomás Luis de Victoria) – ChoralWiki