Days of Art #57: Ave Maria

Did you know:

The song “Ave Maria” is sung to a melody penned by Franz Schubert. However, the words you’re used to hearing aren’t the original words to the song. It was originally “Ellens Dritter Gesang” (Ellen’s Third Song) and part of his Lady of the Lake collection.

Just as Schubert had adapted Walter Scott’s poem, others adapted his melody, using the first few lines of “Ave Maria” (Hail Mary). In case you’ve never known, here’s the first stanza:

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum.
Benedicta tu in mulieribus,
et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus.

(Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.
Blessed are you amongst women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.)

Sound familiar?

Here’s Luciano Pavarotti singing the more familar version:

The arrangement uses repetition of the words to mirror Schubert’s song, but it does so in a meaningful way, keeping the original praise of the poem.

Ave Maria, gratia plena
Maria, gratia plena
Maria, gratia plena
Ave!
Ave Dominus tecum.

Hail Mary, full of grace
Mary, full of grace
Mary, full of grace
Hail!
Hail the Lord is with you.

Here’s Schubert’s original version:

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