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Ave Maria

for SATB chorus, & Organ/Piano or String Quartet
The text of the Ave Maria...virgo serena is taken from a cantorale, or hymn, which can be found in the medieval manuscript E-Bc 911 located in the Catalonian town of Girona. The text differs from the more well-known Ave maria...benedicta tu in mulieribus of which many composers, like Victoria, Schubert, and Gounod, have set to music. During the medieval and renaissance eras there were many different versions of the Ave Maria which composers set to music, and the ...virgo serena was one of them. Jean Mouton's (1459-1522) beautiful setting of the ...virgo serena is one such motet that has survived, but composers rarely used the text after the 16th century.

This setting of the Ave Maria...virgo serena uses chant-like melodies but does not incorporate any particular chant from the original manuscript. The accessible and sometimes polyphonic choral lines make this a fun song to sing for any school, community, or church choir. The accompaniment can be played by either an organ or piano and is also available for string quartet. The original chant can also be performed in conjunction with this setting.


Ave Maria, gratia plena,
Dominus tecum virgo, serena

Tu parvi et magni,
Leonis et Agni
Salvatoris Christi
Templum extitisti
Sed virgo intacta

Tu floris et roris,
Panis et pastoris
Virginum et regina,
Rosa sine spina,
Genitrix es effecta


Hail Mary, full of grace,
The Lord is with thee, serene virgin.

While still a chaste virgin
you became the temple
of our savior Christ,
the lion and the lamb,
the great and the small.

A rose without a thorn,
And queen of virgins,
you became the mother
of the flower and the dew,
of the bread and the shepherd.

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