Marian choral music
  • Heath
    Posts: 897
    (Couldn't find a relevant thread in the "search" engine . . . )

    October is coming up (month of the Holy Rosary): *Please share some Marian choral suggestions, if you will.*

    A few, somewhat lesser known:

    Ave Maris Stella (Anerio)
    Salve Regina (Liszt)
    Salve Regina (SATB) (Lassus)
  • If you have divisi forces, Trond Kverno's AVE MARIS STELLA will overwhelm everyone. Grieg's setting is also compelling. I don't recommend the William Byrd STB version, however.
    Thanked by 1barreltone
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,608
    How about Poulenc's Salve Regina?
    Thanked by 2IanW MatthewRoth
  • Look at Fogliano's Ave Maria in the old Historical Anthology of Music. Nice with one voice or unison women and organ.
  • Heath
    Posts: 897
    Found a few nice settings while searching cpdl . . .

    Ave Maris Stella--Hassler, Victoria (2 settings)
    Salve Regina--Soriano
    Ave Maria, gratia plena--Mouton
    Thanked by 1MatthewRoth
  • Mark P.
    Posts: 248
    Even the hymn "Hail Queen of Heav'n, the Ocean Star" can be a very effective choral piece. Although not magnificent polyphony, it can build up confidence in a choir that they can sing something beautifully. If suitable forces are available, one way to perform it is with four parts on verse one, men only on verse two, women only on verse three and four parts on verse four.
  • BruceL
    Posts: 1,067
    The Josquin Ave Maria, virgo serena is...serenely beautiful! It's also tough and will need inner voices that don't mind a lot of crossings: probably need to pitch up a few steps, too. Also, it's a good rhythm drill! When it's done well, it's one of my favorite pieces of polyphony!
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • HYMNS TO MARY (part of free Anthology download at
    Shall We Not Love Thee
    Who Is She Ascends On High

    Lo, How She Brings Life With Her - Vincent Uher
    Mother of Mercy, Peace and Love - Vincent Uher
    Virgin Born, We kneel Before Thee

    All may be sung SA or SATB
  • Oh yes, how could I forget?
    There are SATB arrangements of Rachmaninov's BOGORODITZE from the SV translated into the Ave Maria out there, that work quite nicely. Or you could simply sing the Russian!
  • Healy Willan (of St. Mary Mag's in Toronto Fame), set some of the Marian antiphons, including a very lovely setting of "I Beheld Her, Beautiful As A Dove".
  • Ave Virgo Sanctissima a 5 was one of the most well-known Marian motets in 16th century Spain and for good reason.
    Exaltata est by Morales is also excellent

    Liszt - Ave Maria is nice

    Any of the Josquin Marian motets, the most famous being Ave Maria virgo serena.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,940
    Gotta love the Bruckner setting. Don't remember where I found it, perhaps my favorite trek through the musical universe web site? IMSLP! Will go and see.

    Here it is.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,940
    How many of you are familiar with Gorecki's Totus Tuus?
  • dad29
    Posts: 2,160
    Try Flor Peeters' Ave Maria. Not difficult, but not "simple."

    Thanked by 1Ruth Lapeyre
  • IanWIanW
    Posts: 749
    Shameless, I know, but you might be interested in this setting of the Salve Regina.
  • Heath
    Posts: 897
    (Resurrecting this thread)

    I have a fine choir this year and I'd like to do a Marian piece or two next month which is off my beaten path, so to speak. Any more recommendations out there?

    I also had a fine organist fall into my lap, so pieces with accompaniment are definitely on the table.
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,481
    "A Maiden Most Gentle" is lovely. I've substituted the standard text for the Christmas text. Once you learn it you can use it again at Christmas reverting back to the Christmas text.
  • Joseph Rheinberger, Ave Regina coelorum and Salve Regina by the same.
    Thanked by 1Ruth Lapeyre
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 1,139
    The first motet of the Brahm's Marienlieder is great. My choir would sing that every weekend if I let them.
    Thanked by 1Patricia Cecilia
  • Maria, Mater Gratiae by Faure. I don't believe this is still under copyright. A neat piece. It's not an easy piece, though I did have success teaching it and singing it myself as a boy soprano many years ago.
  • I would expect Rheinberger has a few Marian motets.
  • Some favorites, all a capella I'm afraid, but mostly short and sweet:

    Ave Maria - Clemens non papa

    Ave Maria - Mouton

    Ave Maria - Verdonck

    Ave maria . . . benedicta a4 -Josquin

    An old chestnut for the month of the Holy Rosary:
    Dixit Maria - Hassler
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,428
    >>all a capella I'm afraid

    nothing to fear!
  • Hassler's Missa Dixit Maria is not difficult, so if you wanted, you could try a polyphonic Sanctus or Agnus Dei (if your pastor allows it).

    I have transcribed the Grassi Salve Regina from the Ravanello anthology for SAB, and it is one of our favorite pieces to pull out for a Marian motet. (I've also transcribed it for flute and two violins, as we often have that combination available.)

    Also, I found a scratchy recording of the Oswald Jaeggi harmonization of Salve mater misericordiae, wrote to the site owner, who sent me a scan of the hand-written manuscript, which I transcribed into Sibelius. The harmonization is definitely extended-tonal/Romantic and gorgeous. I added a simple bass line to the verses.

    Finally, for a unison piece, the sequence Rosa vernans with or without the NOH accompaniment, is lovely.
    Thanked by 1JulieColl
  • Heath,

    If you're interested, I have both a 3-part setting of Ne timeas Maria and a 4-part setting of the Ave Maria. The 3-part is simple enough for my own boys to learn.

    Other music that hasn't been mentioned: Robert Parsons' Ave Maria (a 6, if memory serves)

    God bless,

  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,947
    Depending upon your available singers, I have 2-, 3-, and 4-part polyphonic Ave Maria settings that are quite accessible. They're scattered around here on the MS forum, but also available at CPDL, which also hosts MP3 sound files:

    2-part (SBar) setting

    2-part (SA) setting – same as SBar setting above, but with Bar moved up an octave as an Alto part.

    3-part (SABar) setting – same as the 2-part SBar setting with added Alto part.

    4-part setting (SATB) – completely different 4-part setting.
    Thanked by 1Heath
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 1,139
    Tota Pulcra Es of Durufle (Well, since my ladies are working on it).
  • I Beheld her beautiful as a dove - Healy Willan
    Ave Maria - J. Busto
  • Heath
    Posts: 897
    One not mentioned that I come back to nearly every October: Sing of Mary, arr. Proulx, published by GIA. Outstanding arrangement, w/organ, strings, obbligato oboe (or flute), outstanding choral writing. Highly recommended.
  • When do you use Marian songs--be it choral or congregational--prelude, post-communion, recessional, or as an option 4 substitute for one of the propers? I typically stick to prelude or rcessional, bur wondered what others are doing.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,428
    Outside of feasts specifically dedicated to Mary (wherein you might also do a Marian choral piece at the offertory or after communion), I understand it is somewhat traditional to sing Marian hymns at the recessional.
    Thanked by 1Earl_Grey
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,481
    October, May - recessionals
    Marian feasts - throughout the Mass.
    Thanked by 1Earl_Grey
  • Heath
    Posts: 897
    Bumping. Any suggestions for accompanied Marian stuff is most welcome.
  • ooh, accompanied Marian … that’s a bit harder.

    Fauré “Maria, mater gratiae”

    Andrew Carter - the Annunciation one in Dakers “New Church Anthem Book”
  • kaypee
    Posts: 1
    Thank you very much to Patricia Cecilia, for posting the Salve Mater. Lifesaver!!
  • Our choir sang the Ave Maria setting by Elgar last year. Very nice. SATB, accompanied.
  • Cantus67Cantus67
    Posts: 203
    Ian, I'll be shameless with you (although mine's an arrangement)
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Heath
    Posts: 897
    Bumping for October.
  • wingletwinglet
    Posts: 41
    Josquin's "Virgo Prudentissima" arranged for SATB can be found on CPDL.
  • CGM
    Posts: 560
    Notre Dame Choir Editions,
    run by musicologist Ralph W. Buxton (a friend of mine), has thirteen Marian motets in the catalog, including a stunning SSATB "Regina caeli" by Isaac, the fantastic "Salve Regina" by Dufay, and a host of other excellent options.