Hyperion Records

Ave, dulcissima Maria
Commissioned by Harvard University Glee Club Foundation for the venerable Harvard Glee Club and completed in 2005—some thirty-five years after O come, let us sing unto the Lord—the supernal motet Ave, dulcissima Maria is Lauridsen’s tender setting for a cappella male chorus of a variant of the standard ‘Ave Maria’ petition. As Lauridsen notes in his preface to the score, this invocation ‘has only occasionally been set to music throughout history, most notably by the Renaissance composer Gesualdo’. Unlike Gesualdo’s motet, which—written as it was by a repentant murderer—is shot through with moments of anguish, Lauridsen’s setting radiates an otherworldly serenity; effective use is made of a set of finger cymbals, played on this recording by the composer himself.

from notes by Byron Adams © 2007

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