Ave Maria, WAB 5

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Ave Maria
Motet by Anton Bruckner
Oesterreich stift stflorian brucknerorgel.jpg
The organ loft in the St. Florian Abbey
KeyF major
CatalogueWAB 5
FormMarian hymn
TextAve Maria
DedicationIgnaz Traumihler
Performed7 October 1856 (1856-10-07): Sankt Florian
Published1893 (1893): Innsbruck
VocalSATB choir - S and A soloists
Instrumentalorgan and cello

Ave Maria (Hail Mary), WAB 5, is a setting of the Latin prayer Ave Maria by Anton Bruckner.


Bruckner composed this motet on 24 July 1856, five years before his more famous motet,[1][2][3] as a present for the name-day of Ignaz Traumihler, choirmaster of St. Florian Abbey. The first performance occurred on 7 October 1856 for the Rosenkranzfest (Feast of the Holy Rosary) in Sankt Florian.

The original manuscript is lost, but the score dedicated to Traumihler is stored in the archive of the St. Florian Abbey. Copies are also stored in the Kremsmünster Abbey and the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek.[3] The motet was edited first by Johann Groß, Innsbruck in 1893.[3] It is put in Band XXI/19 of the Gesamtausgabe.[4]


The 52-bar long motet in F major is scored SATB choir and S and A soloists, organ and cello (continuo). It begins in Andante with a fugato.[5] The fugato is ending on bar 8 with the by Haas so-called Marien-Kadenz (cadence on the word "Maria"), which Bruckner will recall in the first movement of the Study Symphony in F minor[6] and in the Adagio of the later Symphony No. 3.[7][8] On the next bar the alto soloist is singing "gratia plena" and on bar 13 the soprano soloist is going on with "benedicta tu". On bars 18-22 the score is slowing down to Adagio, during which the choir is singing three times "Jesus". Bruckner will repeat this three times "Jesus" in his next two settings of the Ave Maria.[3] The second part of the motet is sung by the choir (bars 23-52). The score, which goes back to Andante, begins with "Sancta Maria", sung in canon and ends with the beginning motif.[5]

Selected discography[edit]

The first recording of Bruckner's Ave Maria (WAB 5) was by Hubert Gunther with the Rheinische Singgemeinschaft in c. 1976 (LP: Garnet G 40 107)

A selection of the about 10 recordings:

  • Martin Flämig, Dresdner Kreuzchor, Ave Maria – Anton Bruckner: Geistliche Chöre-Motets – CD: Capriccio 10 081, 1985
  • Joseph Pancik, Prager Kammerchor, Anton Bruckner: Motetten / Choral-Messe – CD: Orfeo C 327 951 A, 1993
  • Sigvards Klava, Radiochor Lettland, Musica Sacra – CD: Campion Records RRCD 1341, 1996
  • Franz Farnberger, St. Florianer Sängerknaben, Anton Bruckner in St. Florian – Requiem & Motetten CD: Studio SM D2639 SM 44, 1997
  • Dan-Olof Stenlund, Malmö Kammarkör, Bruckner: Ausgewählte Werke - CD: Malmö Kammarkör MKKCD 051, 2004
  • Petr Fiala, Czech Philharmonic Choir, Anton Bruckner: Motets - CD: MDG 322 1422-2, 2006
  • Erwin Ortner, Arnold Schoenberg Chor, Anton Bruckner: Tantum ergo - CD: ASC Edition 3, issue of the choir, 2008


The recordings are mostly performed without cello. The score of the soloists is sometimes sung by the mating voices of choir.


  1. ^ "Anton Bruckner / Ave Maria". Carus-Verlag. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  2. ^ "Gesang des Erzengels / Anton Bruckner: Ave Maria, Motette für 7-stimmigen Chor a cappella" (in German). SWR. 2010. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d C. van Zwol, p. 704
  4. ^ Gesamtausgabe - Kleine Kirchenmusikwerke
  5. ^ a b M. Auer, pp. 60-61
  6. ^ Timing analysis of Bruckner's Study Symphony by William Carragan
  7. ^ Thomas Röder, Auf dem Weg zur Bruckner-Symphonie:Untersuchungen zu den ersten beiden Fassungen von Anton Bruckners Dritter Symphonie, Beihefte zum Archiv für Musikwissenschaft, No. 26, Steiner, Stuttgart, 1987, p. 132 – ISBN 978-3-515-04560-5
  8. ^ Timing analysis of Bruckner's Symphony No. 3 by William Carragan


  • Max Auer, Anton Bruckner als Kirchenmusiker, G. Bosse, Regensburg, 1927
  • Anton Bruckner - Sämtliche Werke, Band XXI: Kleine Kirchenmusikwerke, Musikwissenschaftlicher Verlag der Internationalen Bruckner-Gesellschaft, Hans Bauernfeind and Leopold Nowak (Editor), Vienna, 1984/2001
  • Cornelis van Zwol, Anton Bruckner 1824-1896 - Leven en werken, uitg. Thoth, Bussum, Netherlands, 2012. ISBN 978-90-6868-590-9

External links[edit]