Posts Tagged ‘ Ave Maria ’

Hail Mary Full Of Grace – English 15th Century

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December 11, 2015

The Annunciation (Matins)from a Books of Hours dated 1460 and now in the University of Glasgow's Special Collection Folios 48v-49. Books of Hours (Horæ) were compendiums of prayers and devotional texts designed to be used by ordinary people. They were extremely popular and very widespread they were produced in large numbers for around 350-375 years from the late thirteenth century until the mid sixteenth century. Beautifully produced and illustrated many of them became family heirlooms and were handed down from generation to generation.

The Annunciation (Matins)from a Books of Hours dated 1460 and now in the University of Glasgow's Special Collection Folios 48v-49. Books of Hours (Horæ) were compendiums of prayers and devotional texts designed to be used by ordinary people. They were extremely popular and very widespread they were produced in large numbers for around 350-375 years from the late thirteenth century until the mid sixteenth century. Beautifully produced and illustrated many of them became family heirlooms and were handed down from generation to generation.

Carols emerged in England during the Middle Ages they were related in form to the French dance songs called Caroles and were either in Latin, or English, or were macaronic – a mix of the two. Their structure was both distinctive and rigid with the singers alternating between a refrain called the "burden" and stanzas and could be on any subject, but were mostly about the Virgin or the Saints of Christmas for example:

To blis God bryng us all and sum
Christe Redemptor omnium.

1. In Bedlem, in that fayer cyte,
A chyld was born of Owr Lady,
Lord and Prynce that he shuld be
A solis ortus cardine.

To blis God bryng us all and sum
Christe Redemptor omnium.

2. Chyldren were slayn grett plente,
Jhesu, for the love of the;
Lett us neuer dampned be.
Hostes Herodes ympie.

To blis God bryng us all and sum
Christe Redemptor omnium.

In Medieval England devotion to the Virgin Mary was particularly strong and many Christmas carols such as the English language version of the Ave Maria that you can hear below dealt with her and her role as Christ's mother. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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David Popper (1843—1913): Ave Maria (arr)

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October 8, 2015

The son of the cantor of two synagogues in Prague's ghetto Popper auditioned for the Prague Conservatory aged 12 as a violinist and matriculated six years later as a cellist. Goltermann then took him up as student and his progress was such that aged 18 he was appointed assistant principal cellist of the Löwenberg Court Orchestra, and the following year assumed the post of principal. Prestigious posts such as principal in the Vienna Hofoper and the Vienna PO soon followed. Liszt appointed him as professor at the National Hungarian Royal Academy of Music in 1886 where he remained until his death. He composed mostly for his own instrument but his arrangement and transcription of Cherubini's setting of Ave Maria became so popular and widespread that many thought it was Popper's composition. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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Antonio de Ribera (fl early 16th century): Ave Maria – YouTube

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May 9, 2014

Very very little is known about the early 16th century Spanish composer and singer Antonio de Ribera's life before he entered the the papal chapel choir sometime around 1520 and served there at least until December 1526. He probalby died some time around 1529.  Nor many of his compositions survive but those that do – including the four-part setting of the Ave Maria you can hear below, were distributed throughout the Iberian peninsula which suggests to me that he worked at some major Spanish institution before he departed for Rome, his musical style reminds me of Peñalosa and I find myself wishing whenever I hear music of his that more of it had survived the ravages of time. Enjoy :-).

markfromireland

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Rihards Dubra (1964–): Ave Maria III

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April 29, 2014

Rihards Dubra This is one of several settings of the Ave Maria that the Latvian composer Rihards Dubra has set. He composed it in 1994 and dedicated it to the Church of the Mother of Sorrows in Riga where Dubra had recently taken up the position of organist. There's a story behind its composition which is that Dubra was visiting a remote rural church in Latvia and on entering he heard three elderly ladies reciting the Ave Maria. Each of them was saying the prayer in a different manner but the combined effect, Dubra said, was one of unity. This encounter is the inspiration for the three-note chant that you can hear at the opening of the piece. The piece as a whole is one I find both interesting and enjoyable. I like Dubra's use of polyphony to develop his theme at 'Benedicta tu in mulieribus' (Blessed are you among women) and how this theme melts away at the solo tenor chant of 'Jesus'. There's a meditative quality that pervades the piece as a whole but it can also be quite intense this intensity builds and builds reaching its peak at 'nunc et in hora mortis nostrae' (now and at the hour of our death). Dubra's solution to how to bring us down after such intensity is vwry unusual – in fact I've never heard anything quite like the descending glissando with which this piece concludes. Enjoy :-).

markfromireland

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

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November 19, 2013

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 :-).

markfromireland

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