Posts Tagged ‘ Ave Maria ’

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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Josquin Des Prez (±1450-1521): Ave Maria a4

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November 7, 2013

Josquin's four-part setting of the Ave Maria was hugely influential. Josquin makes heavy use of duets and trios to develop his sequences and musical phrases. His fellow composers were much taken with it among them Ludwig Senfl who wrote a six-part setting based on it. Enjoy :-).

markfromireland

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The Marian Music of Tomás Luis de Victoria Part 10: Ave Maria a 8

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September 3, 2013
This entry is part 10 of 15 in the series Introducing The Marian Music of Tomás Luis de Victoria

Madonna with the Child (Luis de Morales circa 1520-1586) 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 :-).

markfromireland

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The Marian Music of Tomás Luis de Victoria Part 3: Ave Maria a 4

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July 16, 2013
This entry is part 3 of 15 in the series Introducing The Marian Music of Tomás Luis de Victoria

Madonna with the Child (Luis de Morales circa 1520-1586) The text of the Ave Maria  or the 'Angelic Salutation' as it is also called is based upon two passages in Luke the greeting by the Angel Gabriel (Luke 1: 28) and Elizabeth's acclamation (Luke 1: 42). It's use as a prayer goes back to the eleventh century when the first half of it was used but it wasn't until 1568 that the full text was authorised to be included in the Breviary by Pope Pius V. It was removed from the Office in 1955. There are two settings attributed to Victoria. The first is the one for four voices which is the subject of this posting while the second is for eight voices. There's some doubt as to whether or not it's actually by Victoria this is because nobody's ever been able to track down the manuscript or printed source upon which Monseigneur Proske who first published it in Musica Divina based it. Nancho Álvarez thinks that Proske's amanuensis  who completed the edition after Proske's death is the person who (mistakenly) attributed this Ave Maria to Victoria. He also makes the entirely reasonable point that 'It has aesthetic features that are not in Victoria's style.' and that are indeed more appropriate to the Baroque era.

All-in-all I'm inclined to agree with Álvarez that it's a misattribution and am including it early on in this series partly to forestall questions about why I've omitted such a well known and well-loved staple of the repertoire,  and partly because no matter who composed it it's a very beautiful piece of homophonic music. It's sung below by the Choir of Westminster Cathedral conducted by Martin Baker. Enjoy :-).

markfromireland

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John Taverner (±1490-1545): Ave Maria

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July 11, 2013

When Cardinal Wolsey founded Cardinal's College in 1524 (the College which is now Christ Church, Oxford) the statutes governing the college prescribed the singing of antiphons and hymns during the evening devotions which took place at seven o'clock in the evening after Compline. Three years later in 1527 Wolsey revised the statutes for the college among the revised provision was one requiring the singing of the Ave Maria in polyphony:

"... and then everyone having knelt Ave shall be sung solemnly three times, the pauses being marked by the sounding of a bell".

Taverner composed this three-section sectting of the Ave Maria to comply with these requirments.

markfromireland

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