Ave Maria (Bruckner)

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Ave Maria
Motet by Anton Bruckner
Linz 2011 11.jpg
The organ loft in the old Linz Cathedral
KeyF major
CatalogueWAB 6
FormMarian hymn
TextAve Maria
LanguageLatin
Performed12 May 1861 (1861-05-12): Linz
Published1867 (1867): Vienna
ScoringSAATTBB choir

Ave Maria (Hail Mary),[1] WAB 6, is a sacred motet by Anton Bruckner, a setting of the Latin prayer Ave Maria. He composed it in Linz in 1861 and scored the short work in F major for seven unaccompanied voices. The piece, sometimes named an Offertorium, was published in Vienna in 1867. Before, Bruckner composed the same prayer in 1856 for soprano, alto, a four-part mixed choir, organ and cello, WAB 5. Later, he set the text in 1882 for a solo voice (alto) and keyboard (organ, piano or harmonium), WAB 7.

History[edit]

Bruckner composed the motet, also known as Ave Maria (II), in 1861. He did this after completing five years of studies with Simon Sechter.[2][3] The motet was first performed on 12 May 1861 as Offertorium of a mass in the Linz Cathedral (now the Old Cathedral).[4] Bruckner was their organist and was also from 1860 director of the Liedertafel (choral society) "Frohsinn"[5][6] who performed the motet to celebrate the anniversary of its founding.[7] Bruckner wrote in a letter about the reception in a letter dated 3 October 1861: "I was, in the end, splendidly applauded by my choir—twice."[3]

The manuscript is lost, but copies are found in the archive of the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek and the Abbey of Sankt Florian.[8] The piece, sometimes named an Offertorium, was published together with Tota pulchra es by Emil Wetzler in Vienna in 1867.[4] It is put in Band XXI/20 of the Gesamtausgabe.[9]

Music[edit]

Bruckner set the prayer in F major and scored it for seven unaccompanied voices SAATTBB. It takes about 4 minutes to perform.[3] The first section of the 51-bar long Ave Maria is based on the Annunciation, the greeting of Gabriel the Archangel to Mary (Luke 1:28)[3] and on the Visitation, when Elisabeth paraphrased the greeting (Luke 1:42). The upper voices begin, while (bar 10) the lower voices respond with "et benedictus ...".[7] All voices united proclaim the name "Jesus" three times in growing intensity (bars 15-20).[7] The second part is for all voices. It begins in canon on "Sancta Maria", and evolves diminuendo with a point d'orgue on bar 30 ("ora pro nobis"), when Mary is asked to "pray for us sinners".[1][2][10] Bruckner applies his understanding of older styles to express his personal faith with simplicity but "Romantic sensibility of expression".[7]

James Liu notes about Bruckner's motets in general:

They express his devout Roman Catholic beliefs, using the modal chords and long, Gregorian chant-like lines of the Renaissance masters. But the harmonic shifts and compositional techniques display a clearly Romantic sensibility, and the blocks of contrasting sound display Bruckner's roots as an organ improviser.[2]

Selected discography[edit]

The first recording of Bruckner's Ave Maria occurred in the early 1920s:

A selection among the about 150 commercial recordings:

  • John Alldis, John Alldis Choir, Bruckner, Messiaen, Debussy, Schönberg – LP: Argo ZRG 523, 1967
  • Eric Ericson, Schwedischer Rundfunkchor, Treasures – CD: Caprice Records CAP 21814, 1975
  • Hans Zanotelli, Philharmonia vocal-ensemble Stuttgart, Anton Bruckner, Lateinische Motetten – CD: Calig CAL 50 477, 1979
  • Matthew Best, Corydon Singers, Bruckner: Motets - CD: Hyperion CDA66062, 1982
  • Philippe Herreweghe, la Chapelle Royale/Collegium Vocale, Ensemble Musique Oblique, Bruckner: Messe en mi mineur; Motets - CD: Harmonia Mundi France HMC 901322, 1989
  • John Rutter, The Cambridge Singers, The Cambridge Singers Collection – CD: Collegium CSCD501, 1991
  • Uwe Gronostay, Netherlands Chamber Choir, Bruckner/Reger – CD: Globe GLO 5160, 1995
  • Winfried Toll, Frankfurter Kantorei, Der Himmel lacht, die Erde jauchzt – CD: Peters Musikverlag, 2002
  • Dan-Olof Stenlund, Malmö Kammarkör, Bruckner: Ausgewählte Werke - CD: Malmö Kammarkör MKKCD 051, 2004
  • Peter Dijkstra, Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Machet die Tore weit – CD: Oehms Classics OC 535, 2005
  • Petr Fiala, Tschechischer Philharmonischer Chor Brno, Anton Bruckner: Motets - CD: MDG 322 1422-2, 2006
  • Michael Stenov, Cantores Carmeli, Benefizkonzert Karmelitenkirche Linz - CD/DVD issued by the choir, 2006, and on YouTube.[11]
  • Erwin Ortner, Arnold Schoenberg Chor, Anton Bruckner: Tantum ergo - CD: ASC Edition 3, issue of the choir, 2008
  • Tone Bianca Sparre Dahl, Schola Cantorum (Norway), Hymn to the Virgin – CD: Lindberg Lyd 2L-095, 2011
  • Otto Kargl, Domkantorei St. Pölten, Cappela Nova Graz, Bruckner: Messe E-Moll, CD: ORF CD 3174, 2013

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Motet Translations / Anton Bruckner: Ave Maria". Emmanuel Music. Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Liu, James C.S. (2003). "Choral Music Notes - Bruckner Motets". jamescsliu.com. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d "Anton Bruckner / Ave Maria". Carus-Verlag. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  4. ^ a b C. van Zwol, p.704
  5. ^ "Gesang des Erzengels / Anton Bruckner: Ave Maria, Motette für 7-stimmigen Chor a cappella" (in German). SWR. 2010. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  6. ^ "Bruckner: Motets - CD - CDA66062 - Anton Bruckner (1824-1896)". Hyperion Records. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
  7. ^ a b c d Morita, Patsy. "Anton Bruckner / Ave Maria (II), motet for chorus in F major, WAB 6". Allmusic. Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  8. ^ U. Harten, p. 76
  9. ^ Gesamtausgabe - Kleine Kirchenmusikwerke
  10. ^ M. Auer, pp. 61-63
  11. ^ Bruckner, Anton (composer); Stenov, Michael (conductor) (2006-11-26). Motette Ave Maria à 7 voces a cappella (Online video). YouTube. Retrieved 2014-12-29.

Sources[edit]

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

External links[edit]