Schubert/Liszt Ave Maria
  • I figured someone here would know this off the top of their head.

    I actually paid for something at the Kennedy Center last night, and it was a good one: Evgeny Kissin and Renee Fleming doing mostly Central European composers. One French dude I never heard of, and a lot Lizst, whose art songs I dont hear that often, even though I see a LOT of student recitals.

    The first encore was Ave Maria. She has had a career-long association with the Washington Performing Arts Society and when she asked, there were few first-timers. She definitely had a home field advantage and they fell silent for the Ave Maria when Kissin started playing the opening block chords and stayed that way for five minutes.

    It got me wondering about the piano connection, and I saw that Liszt had done three arrangements of the Schubert. Yet when I look up his Ave Maria settings, they appear to be strictly instrumental. The Breitkopf printing of the Ave Maria has the familiar block chords but I dont see an arranger listed.

    So...does Liszt have any connection to the arrangement we always hear, and what are the three Liszt arrangements that I see mentioned in Wikipedia? Just as I type this, I realize they may be arrangements of the original art song. You know Wikipedia: Good for the big picture but details can be fuzzy. Liszt certainly was a prolific guy.

    Many thanks.

    Kenneth
  • PS, they apparently do tours together often enough. I dont follow anything any more in the sense of being a fan, so I would hardly know. If they come to your town, definitely go. It was a magnificent program. I dont have much patience for opera but I love art song.
  • Hi Kenneth,

    You could look at Franz Liszt's list of works on IMSLP - it's pretty comprehensive. It looks like Liszt's arrangement of the Schubert Ave Maria is part of a set of 12 Schubert songs arranged for piano, and this set was published twice in Liszt's lifetime. Liszt composed 2 original settings of the Ave Maria which he also arranged for piano solo, plus an arrangement of the Arcadelt Ave Maria for both solo piano and solo organ. Wikipedia could have conflated any of these with the Schubert.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,757
    It's my understanding that the Ave we normally hear with piano is one of Schubert's secular art songs with the text swapped out.
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  • davido
    Posts: 891
    It’s not an art song, but a piece from a stage show. A heroine in distress flees into a cave or the mountains or something, and in her distress prays to the BVM. The opening and ending Ave Maria is original, but the rest of the text was in German and related to the heroine’s situation.
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  • MarkS
    Posts: 282
    It’s not an art song


    It is an art song, one of a set of seven with texts drawn from Walter Scott's poem 'The Lady of the Lake.'
  • Mark, Davido,

    Can a piece be both an art song and a piece from a stage show? [Asking out of ignorance: my 19th century musical forms course was a little short on these details.]
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,397
    Can a piece be both - probably a piece from a stage show can become part of the art song repertoire, there is no legal definition of either!
    But in the case there was no stage show, Schubert took the seven songs in Op.52 from a German translation of Scott's poem by Adam Storck.
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