Alonso Lobo (1555-1617): Ave Maria

The Chapel of St. Blaise, Toledo Cathedral.

The Chapel of St. Blaise, Toledo Cathedral.

Lobo’s eight-part setting of the Marian antiphon Ave Maria is one of seven motets that he published in 1602 while employed at Toledo Cathedral. It’s an astounding piece of music that’s based on a scheme of complex 8-in-4 canonical writing in which the lower voices of two SATB choirs sing the same music but the three upper voices swap places in response. The result of this is to generate  four more voices from the original quartet. If that sounds complex it is! But the result is remarkably beautiful with all the strands coming together to present a seemingly seamless whole. Enjoy :-).

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Alonso Lobo (1555-1617): Ave Maria

Ave Maria, gratia plena:
Dominus tecum.
Benedicta tu in mulieribus,
et benedictus fructus ventris tui Iesus.
Sancta Maria, Mater Dei,
ora pro nobis peccatoribus,
nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

Antiphon to the Blessed Virgin Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace:
the Lord is with you.
Blessed are you among women
and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and in the hour of our death. Amen.

Performers: The Tallis Scholars conducted by Peter Phillips

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