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Ave Maria, gemma virginum
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Ave Maria, gemma virginum is a canon 8 ex 4 at two breves’ distance at the octave. (In the Parisian print of 1534 in which the motet appears, no indication of the canonic interval is given: it would therefore be technically possible to perform it as an eight-part unison canon, though this would create an extremely congested texture.) Perhaps because a canon at the unison is even more restricted than other intervals—the danger of repetitious harmony being ever-present—Ave Maria is only thirty-five breves in length, less than half the duration of Nesciens mater. Modally speaking it presents a relatively unusual case of a D-mode with B flat, corresponding more closely to the modern minor mode than is usual for so early a piece. The resulting plangent tone of supplication is highly suitable for the text, which pleads for Mary’s intercession at our time of death. As its title suggests, this motet is a miniature gem, which deserves to be better known.

from notes by Stephen Rice © 2012

Track-specific metadata
Details for CDA67933 track 2
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-12-93302
Duration
2'26
Recording date
18 August 2011
Recording venue
The Church of St Michael and All Angels, Summertown, Oxford, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Antony Pitts
Recording engineer
Justin Lowe
Hyperion usage
  1. Mouton: Missa Tu es Petrus & other works (CDA67933)
    Disc 1 Track 2
    Release date: June 2012
  2. Hyperion monthly sampler – June 2012 (HYP201206)
    Disc 1 Track 4
    Release date: June 2012
    Download-only monthly sampler
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