"Tuck says she's the new Kiri Te Kanawa. Where have we been? Spending too much time in the blogosphere worrying about the future of the shining city upon a hill, no doubt," we captioned this image awhile back, adding "American soprano Renée Fleming is the new light of our life. Click here to watch and listen to her breathtaking 'Ave Maria' from a November 2005 concert of 'the world’s best-loved sacred songs and arias in front of a packed audience in Mainz’s beautiful Romanesque Cathedral.'"
"My new songs from Scott's Lady of the Lake especially had much success. They also wondered greatly at my piety, which I expressed in a hymn to the Holy Virgin and which, it appears, grips every soul and turns it to devotion," Franz Schubert wrote to his father and stepmother re the Ave Maria composed in about 1825:
It was written for voice and piano and first Published in 1826 as Op 52 no 6. The words most commonly used with Schubert's music are not the words that the composer originally set to music. Franz Schubert actually wrote the music for an excerpt from the poem "The Lady of the Lake" by Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832), which was translated into German by Adam Storck. Schubert called his piece Ellens dritter Gesang (Ellen's third song) . . .
The original words by Sir Walter Scott . . . include many references to the Latin "Ave Maria" prayer. This, no doubt, inspired an unknown person to fit the Latin "Ave Maria" prayer text to Schubert's notes.
Big-time thanks to The Ugly American at SondraKiStan for the heads up re American diva Renée Fleming singing Schubert's transcendent "Ave Maria." A few notes from our imail correspondence this evening:
She: THANKS for the link!!!! Nice to hear the Ave Maria sung by a hottie!!!
We: Yes. Schubert sung by a hottie . . . It doesn't get any better.
She: How thrilling it must be to perform such a masterwork so beautifully. When we get tears in our eyes, we know they have hit a home run . . . As a woman, I can imagine the agony of sacrificing one's child . . . just as all the mothers of military personnel might potentially do . . . the greater good DOES matter . . . Again, thank you for the link. I am on my 5th replay.
We: I am on my eleventy-second.
Can't get enough. The best way to listen is with the Latin (left) and English translations side by side:
Ave Maria Hail Mary,
gratia plena full of grace.
Dominus tecum The Lord is with thee.
Benedicta tu Blessed art thou,
Et benedictus and blessed
Fructus ventris tui is the fruit of thy womb.
Sancta Maria Holy Mary,
Mater Dei Mother of God,
Ora pro nobis pray for us
Nunc et in now and in
Hora mortis nostrae the hour of our death.
Ora pro nobis peccatoribus says it all.