Jean Mouton (before 1459-1522): Ave Maria … benedicta tu

Tallis Scholars 325x230 captionedDespite the fact that his musical language was quite unique Jean Mouton’s contemporaries routinely compared him with Josquin (for a brief biography of Mouton see my posting of September 29, 2013 – mfi) . His music is always a thing of beauty with a sweetness of tone and with clear melodic lines that conceals considerable mathematical and musical complexity. If I was going to compare him to anybody I think it would be to Ockeghem rather than Josquin and even then the comparison only goes so far as his melodic lines are shorter and one can always hear everything clearly. On balance it’s better to avoid comparisons and simply say that the man’s music is unique. His short, four-part motet Ave Maria … benedicta tu has a crystaline beauty that I come back to again and again. It’s sung below by the Tallis Scholars who navigate its canon by inversion with aplomb. Enjoy :-).


Text, Translation,  and Score:  Ave Maria … benedicta tu

Latin textEnglish translation
Ave Maria, gratia plena,
Dominus tecum:
benedicta tu in mulieribus.
O Maria, genetrix Dei,
ora pro nobis.
Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with you:
blessed are you among women.
O Mary, mother of God,
pray for us.
Score available from here:  Ave Maria, gratia plena (Jean Mouton) – ChoralWiki

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