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Detail for Desprez: Ave Maria
Title: Ave Maria  
View Sample Score
Composer: Josquin Desprez (c. 1455-1521)
Scoring: SATB
Liturgical Use: Marian Feasts
Language: Latin
Catalog #: NDC003
Duration: ca. 5 minutes
Price: $4.95
Remarks: Possibly the most well-known of Josquin’s works, this motet conveys an exquisite sense of form, a directness and simplicity of joyous expression, and an exceptionally clear tonal structure. Quoting the first few lines and the opening melody of a Gregorian chant sequence as a prelude, the composer freely sets a rhymed poem of five stanzas familiar from books of hours (prayer books) dating back to the 14th century. Each stanza begins with the word “Ave” and describes one of the five joyful mysteries of the Blessed Virgin. The motet concludes with a moving personal plea of utmost simplicity and directness: “O Mother of God, remember me.”   View Sample Score
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