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This setting pairs the text of the Magnificat (sung here by the Elm City Girls’ Choir, in the style of a Bulgarian women’s chorus) with that of the Ave Maria (sung by Yale Schola Cantorum). The music draws connections between the two: for example, after the girls sing ‘enim ex hoc beatam me dicent omnes generationes’, the adult choir responds with ‘Benedicta tu in mulieribus’. As the girls sing ‘Fecit potentiam in brachio suo: dispersit superbos mente cordis sui’, the adults sing ‘ora pro nobis peccatoribus’.
To Western European and North American ears, the sounds of Bulgarian women’s choruses tend to suggest female strength and determination. For that reason, and because the composer finds this music beautiful and powerful, the girls who sing Mary’s words are instructed to sing in that style.
from notes by Tawnie Olson © 2019