Films, Audio & Samples
David Hamilton: Ave Maris S...Internal audio
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Ave Maris Stella ('Hail, star of the sea') is a plainsong Vespers hymn to Mary. It was especially popular in the Middle Ages. The creation of the original hymn has been attributed to several people, including Bernard of Clairvaux (12th century), Saint Venantius Fortunatus (6th century) and Hermannus Contractus (11th century). The text is found in a 9th century manuscript in the Abbey of Saint Gall (St. Gallen in present-day Switzerland).
The piece uses little material other than the original chant melody. It is presented against a single sustained pitch from the singing bowl which sounds throughout. The work uses a mix of fully notated and semi-improvised music to create an atmospheric response to the text. Only the first and last verses of the text are used, with the choir only ever singing the first verse, and two solo voices singing the final verse.
Suitable for school and community choirs
Dedicated to St Mary's Schola, St Mary’s College, Auckland
Text from traditional hymn
29 Oct 2012: Performed by St Mary's Schola conducted by David Hamilton, at St Benedict's Church in Auckland.