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Ave Maria, mater Dei

author of text

Ave Maria, mater Dei is one of eight works ascribed to ‘Cornysh’ in the Eton Choirbook, the era-defining collection of 93 pieces compiled between 1490 and 1502. It was supposed that William Cornysh the Younger composed the work, but more recent scholarship has pointed to his father’s authorship, though the name was taken by three musicians at the time. One of the few surviving music manuscripts from the reign of King Henry VII, the Choirbook is dominated by Marian works, though Cornysh’s setting is without a known liturgical function. The text extols the virtues of Mary, asking her to guide all Christian people to serve her will. The first half of the work is characterized by twisting melismatic lines, with particular emphasis given to ‘domina’ and ‘inferni’. More syllabic phrases follow in the second half, quickening the pace and intensifying the mood with short motivic cells, which are developed briefly before being swiftly dispatched in favour of a new idea.

from notes by Owain Park © 2018


Cornysh Jr.: Stabat mater
English Motets
Studio Master: CDA68256Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Music for the King of Scots
Studio Master: CDA68333Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Renaissance Radio
CDGIM212for the price of 1 — Download only
The Tallis Scholars sing Tudor Church Music, Vol. 1
CDGIM209for the price of 1 — Download only


Track 2 on CDGIM014 [3'10]
Track 6 on CDGIM209 CD2 [3'10] for the price of 1 — Download only
Track 10 on CDGIM212 CD2 [3'10] for the price of 1 — Download only
Track 12 on CDA68256 [2'42]
Track 9 on CDA68333 [3'03]

Track-specific metadata

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