Ave Regina Coelorum

  • Composer: Giovanni Legrenzi 
  • Publisher: Prima La Musica
  • Cat No: LEG004
  • Canadian Composition: No
  • Duration: 4:22
  • Sample Track:

Program Notes:

This exquisite duet was written in the late 17th Century in Venice. Legrenzi was active there as a composer of church music, opera, and instrumental music, and was one of the music teachers at the famed Ospedali – state-run institutions that housed and educated illegitimate girls.

Conductor Notes:

Originally a duet for soprano and alto soloists with basso continuo, we chose this piece as part of a concert celebrating the composers and music of the Venetian Ospedali. Legrenzi’s gift with a vocal line is exquisite, and I found this to be really good for the choir’s vocal technique, at the same time as it’s a beautiful piece of music. A calm and poised opening gives way to a fast triple metre, then a fiery 4/4 full of 16th notes. I was inspired by the performance of Philippe Jaroussky and Marie-Nicole Lemieux http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCkgQ26PgBM, but we didn’t quite take their tempo for the last section!

References:

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Text:

Ave, Regina Coelorum, Ave, Domina Angelorum: Salve, radix, salve, porta Ex qua mundo lux est orta: Gaude, Virgo gloriosa, Super omnes speciosa, Vale, o valde decora, Et pro nobis Christum exora

Translation:

Hail, O Queen of Heaven. Hail, O Lady of Angels Hail! thou root, hail! thou gate From whom unto the world, a light has arisen: Rejoice, O glorious Virgin, Lovely beyond all others, Farewell, most beautiful maiden, And pray for us to Christ.