Mendelssohn - Ave maria (op. 23 no. 2)

★★★ My playlist with music by Felix Mendelssohn:

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1809 - 1847):
AVE MARIA for 8-part chorus

00:11 : Ave Maria (Andante)
02:48 : Sancta Maria (Con moto)
04:50 : Ave Maria (Andante)

Mendelssohn composed this beautiful 8-part motet in 1830. In a letter of 30 november he wrote: "In the Ave Maria, which is a greeting to Mary, it is a tenor who constantly sings before the chorus, and all alone from beginning to end." The final version turned out differently: The tenor and the chorus alternate in the two outer sections, while the middle 'con moto' section, imploring the Virgin to pray for us sinners, is an expansive, densely textured eight-part polyphonic movement. Originally written a cappella, the Ave Maria was later endowed with an accompaniment for organ or instrumental ensemble (clarinets, bassoons, cellos and basses).

Ave Maria, gratia plena.
Dominus tecum,
Benedicta tu in mulieribus!
Sancta Maria, mater Dei,
Ora pro nobis peccatoribus,
nunc et in hora mortis nostri.

Hail Mary, full of grace.
The Lord is with thee,
Blessed art thou among women!
Hail Mary, Mother of God,
Pray for us sinners
Now and in the hour of our death.

Hervé Lamy (tenor)
Johan Huys (organ)
Ensemble Vocal de La Chapelle Royale (Paris)
Collegium Vocale de Gand (Ghent)
Conducted by Philippe Herreweghe

Recorded May 1984 in L'eglise des Carmes, Gand (Church of the Carmelites, Ghent, Belgium).

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