Ave Maria, WAB 7

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Ave Maria
Motet by Anton Bruckner
Clugny Annunciation.jpg
KeyF major
CatalogueWAB 7
FormMarian hymn
TextAve Maria
LanguageLatin
Composed5 February 1882 (1882-02-05): Vienna
DedicationLuise Hochleitner
Performed5 February 1903 (1903-02-05): Vienna
Published1902 (1902): Stuttgart
VocalAlto soloist
InstrumentalOrgan, piano or harmonium

Ave Maria (Hail Mary), WAB 7, is a setting of the Latin prayer Ave Maria by Anton Bruckner.

History[edit]

When staying in Wels during the summer of 1881 Bruckner met Luise Hochleitner, a singer with a beautiful alto voice.[1] Bruckner promised to dedicate to her an Ave Maria. The work, which was composed on 5 February 1882, —almost 20 years after his more famous motet— is for alto (or baritone) solo voice and keyboard (organ, piano or harmonium).[2]

The original manuscript is lost, but there are fair copies of it at the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek and the Abbey of Kremsmünster.[3] The work was published in 1902 as an appendix to No. 13 of the Neue Musikzeitung, Stuttgart.[4] The first public performance occurred during a concert of the Wiener Akademischer Wagner-Verein on 5 February 1903 by Gisella Seehofer, who then also premiered Bruckner's Wie bist du, Frühling, gut und treu and Im April.[5] The motet is put in Band XXI/29 of the Gesamtausgabe.[6]

Setting[edit]

The 81-bars, demanding work, scored in F major, requires a singer with a 2-octave broad tessitura.

Alike the two earlier settings of Ave Maria the name Jesus is sung thrice (bars 23-31).[4] It is followed by an instrumental interlude (bars 32-38) and goes then on with the second part (Sancta Maria), which quotes the 20-year earlier setting.[4] Thereafter (bars 53-58) Nunc et in hora mortis nostrae is sung pianissimo in unison. After a repeat of Sancta Maria, it is ending by a two-octave descending arpeggio on Amen (from F5 to F3) and a short instrumental postlude (bars 76-81).

Selected discography[edit]

The first recording was:

  • Ingrid Günther (alto), Herbert Günther (BRT-Radio-Sinfonie-Orchester), Bruckner – Missa Solemnis in B – LP: Garnet G 40 170, c. 1980

In the majority of the about 20 recordings the singer is skipping the lower octave of the Amen. A selection among the few recordings, in which the singer is doing it faithfully:

  • Anne-Marie Owens (mezzo-soprano), Peter King (organ), Mass No. 2 / Motets (Simon Halsey) – CD: Conifer CDCF 192, 1990
  • Peter Matuszek (baritone), Vladimir Roubal (organ), Canti Sacri – CD: Rosa RD 151-2, 1994
  • Sigrid Hagmüller (alto), Rupert Gottfried Frieberger (organ), Anton Bruckner – Oberösterreichische Kirchenmusik – CD: Fabian Records CD 5112, 1995
  • Vera Ilieva (mezzo-soprano; transposed to A-flat major), Burhard Pütz (organ), Ave Maria – CD: CSD 100 057, 1999

References[edit]

  1. ^ C. van Zwol, p. 269
  2. ^ "Anton Bruckner / Ave Maria". Carus-Verlag. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  3. ^ U. Harten, p. 76
  4. ^ a b c C. van Zwol, p. 707
  5. ^ C. van Zwol, p. 718
  6. ^ Gesamtausgabe - Kleine Kirchenmusikwerke

Sources[edit]

  • 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
  • Uwe Harten, Anton Bruckner. Ein Handbuch. Residenz Verlag, Salzburg, 1996. ISBN 3-7017-1030-9.

External links[edit]