Posts Tagged ‘ Ave Maria ’

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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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

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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