Skip to main content

Franz Schubert's "Ave Maria" is one of the most familiar tunes in the classical and sacred music genres. It's also one of those pieces of music that is very easy to do badly - heavy on schmaltz and saccharine sentimentality.

The version that accompanies this YouTube compilation of photos in Iraq and elsewhere is performed by Arthur Grumiaux (violin) and Istvan Hajdu (piano), and appears on the Christmas compilation, The Ultimate Relaxation Christmas Album.

While I never would have chosen that album (my wife bought it upon the recommendation of her sister, who's a big Mantovani fan), I think this rendition of Ave Maria is just about the best I've ever heard. I offer it now as a holiday prayer and gift to you, in the Christian tradition. Dedicated to all who suffer because of war.

Ave Maria (Salutatio Angelica), is a traditional Catholic and Orthodox church prayer calling for the intercession of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Rooted mainly in Biblical texts, the Ave Maria developed in the Middle Ages; in this context, Mary is known as the Blessed Virgin. The prayer is also used by other denominations in the Catholic tradition, notably Anglo-Catholic members of the Anglican Communion. In the Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches, it is known as the "Angelic Salutation" as well as being called the Hail Mary.

Ave Maria by Schubert was originally titled "Ellens dritter Gesang" (Ellen's third song). The confusion over the title probably arose due to the opening verse of the song:

Ave Maria! Maiden mild!
Listen to a maiden's prayer!....

The words to Ave Maria song were taken from Sir Walter Scott's poem The Lady of the Lake and Adam Storck wrote the German translation Schubert used. The person responsible for setting the Ave Maria lyrics in Latin remains a mystery to this day.

Walter Scott's Original
from "The Lady of the Lake"

Ave Maria! maiden mild!
Listen to a maiden's prayer!
Thou canst hear though from the wild,
Thou canst save amid despair.
Safe may we sleep beneath thy care,
Though banish'd, outcast and reviled -
Maiden! hear a maiden's prayer;
Mother, hear a suppliant child!
Ave Maria!

Ave Maria! undefiled!
The flinty couch we now must share
Shall seem this down of eider piled,
If thy protection hover there.
The murky cavern's heavy air
Shall breathe of balm if thou hast smiled;
Then, Maiden! hear a maiden's prayer;
Mother, list a suppliant child!
Ave Maria!

Ave Maria! stainless styled!
Foul demons of the earth and air,
From this their wonted haunt exiled,
Shall flee before thy presence fair.
We bow us to our lot of care,
Beneath thy guidance reconciled;
Hear for a maid a maiden's prayer,
And for a father hear a child!
Ave Maria!

source

Note: When you open this page, a rendition of the Latin lyrics accomapanied by a new-age synthesizer automatically loads and plays. If that arrangement is not to your liking, you can either turn it off entirely with the small playback controls in the Flash player at the upper right of the page, or skip to the more traditional versions 2, 3, or 4 on the list below the controls.

I hope you'll also take some time to browse this music site, which offers a wonderful selection of sacred music from the Russian and Ukrainian choral traditions. I purchased the MP3 download version of the album Praise and Worship Music by The Monk Choir of Kiev Pechersk Monastery

Originally posted to RubDMC on Sat Dec 22, 2007 at 01:14 PM PST.

Tags

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site