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Ave Maria (Schubert)

Franz Schubert

Ave Maria by Franz Schubert

Here’s Luciano Pavarotti performing the wonderful song.

Ave Maria

“Ave Maria
Gratia plena
Maria, gratia plena
Maria, gratia plena
Ave, ave dominus
Dominus tecum
Benedicta tu in mulieribus
Et benedictus
Et benedictus fructus ventris
Ventris tuae, Jesus.
Ave Maria

Ave Maria
Mater Dei
Ora pro nobis peccatoribus
Ora pro nobis
Ora, ora pro nobis peccatoribus
Nunc et in hora mortis
Et in hora mortis nostrae
Et in hora mortis nostrae
Et in hora mortis nostrae
Ave Maria”

While Schubert's "Ave Maria" is widely considered to be a church song, it is in fact, a secular art song. The german text is a story about a young maiden who implores Mary to give her comfort in her time of distress. Only later did someone replace the original lyric with the latin prayer text. At one time, the Roman Catholic Church banned the use of the Schubert "Ave Maria" in church. The prohibition may still be on the books however most churches turn a blind eye to the issue.

To interpret this work -- a nineteenth-century art song -- in classical fashion would seem an obvious choice. Some have suggested that great composers are often ahead of their time.

This song continues to be popular and one can only guess at what inspired Schubert to write such a catchy, soft-rock beat. The introduction to this work is probably more familiar than the lead. How did Franz Schubert come up with this? Are there secrets about his life and travels?

Historians would likely agree that Schubert didn't ever visit Southern California. None-the-less the catchy rhythm suggests a sunny afternoon at the beach. In that space-music composers have never traveled to space, a surf-music composer would not necessarily need to go the the beach.

Indeed, among the nineteenth-century surf music composers, Schubert definately holds his own.