Composition - - American Recorder Society
Ave Maria...virgo serena
By Josquin des Prez (1450-1521)
The motet “Ave Maria - virgo serena” was first published by the famous printer Ottaviano Petrucci in his "Motetti A" in 1502. This is a beautifully composed work in every way. It was very popular in its time and can be found in a number of  publications from the 16th century.

The text is a votive antiphon.

The first words of the text "Ave Maria" are set as a simple motif that is imitated sequentially in each part in the order SATB. This is dovetailed with the next lyrics "gratia plena" which gets the same treatment as do the next few sets of lyrics. In measure 40 finally everybody sings together. The words "Solemni plena gaudio" are nearly homophonic. This moves ahead with the next bit of text "Celestia, terrestria, Nova replet letitia."  The writing here is breathtaking as he uses closely dovetailed sequences while including quicker motion in all parts. This is known as "drive to cadence" and is a hallmark of Josquin's style. Changes in texture continue throughout the piece.

Imitation is pervasive in this piece as is textural variety. The final words translated are "Oh, Mother of God, remember me. Amen." In a moving change of texture these words are sung completely homophonically and simply. The effect is devastating.
-- Roy Sansom
Play-along files synthesized and contributed by Roy Sansom.  Accompaniments are at 8' pitch, so the top line will sound best on tenor, second line on bass, etc. if available.

Listen to all parts
No soprano - you play soprano
No alto - you play alto or tenor
No tenor - you play tenor
No bass - you play bass
No. of Recorder Parts:
Play-alongs, Arrangements and Transcriptions
Date Added:
Recorded Accompaniment, Renaissance/Baroque/Classical