Ave Maria – Luciano Pavarotti – Absolutely Wonderful

Ave Maria – Luciano Pavarotti

Absolutely Wonderful 

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Luciano Pavarotti

 

Very Interesting history of Ave Maria

 

Maestro Luciano Pavarotti

 

The opening words and refrain of Ellen’s song, namely “Ave Maria” (Latin for “Hail Mary”), may have led to the idea of adapting Schubert’s melody as a setting for the full text of the traditional Roman Catholic prayer “Ave Maria“. The Latin version of the “Ave Maria” is now so frequently used with Schubert’s melody that it has led to the misconception that he originally wrote the melody as a setting for the “Ave Maria”.

 

Luciano Pavarotti in character

 

Ave Maria has become one of Schubert’s most popular works, recorded by a wide variety and large number of singers, under the title of Ave Maria (after Ellen’s song, which is a prayer to the Virgin Mary). In arrangements with various lyrics which commonly differ from the original context of the poem. It was arranged in three versions for piano by Franz Liszt.

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Luciano singing with his father back in the day

 

The piece was composed as a setting of a song (verse XXIX from Canto Three) from Walter Scott‘s popular epic poem The Lady of the Lake,] in a German translation by Adam Storck and thus forms part of Schubert’s Liederzyklus vom Fräulein vom See.

In Scott’s poem the character Ellen Douglas, the Lady of the Lake (Loch Katrine in the Scottish Highlands), has gone with her exiled father to stay in the Goblin’s cave as he has declined to join their previous host, Roderick Dhu, in rebellion against King James. Roderick Dhu, the chieftain of Clan Alpine, sets off up the mountain with his warriors, but lingers and hears the distant sound of the harpist Allan-bane, accompanying Ellen who sings a prayer addressed to the Virgin Mary, calling upon her for help. Roderick Dhu pauses, then goes on to battle.

Schubert’s arrangement is said to have first been performed at the castle of Countess Sophie Weissenwolff in the little Austrian town of Steyregg and dedicated to her, which led to her becoming known as “the lady of the lake” herself.

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