Ave Verum Corpus
Originally composed for SATB choir and then later written for SSAA, this beautiful, sensitive setting of the Ave verum corpus text seems to capture both singers’ and audiences’ hearts whenever it’s performed.
Raminsh’s arrangement for treble voices does not diminish the initial beauty of this piece in any way. He stays true to his original form and uses a quiet, simple piano accompaniment to provide the darker sounds that would otherwise be supplied by the men’s voices in the SATB arrangement.
The harmony is lush and full with musical interest for all four voices. “Ave Verum Corpus” definitely challenges the singer’s technique in tuning, flexibility, suppleness and breath control in the long, extended phrasing and well-shaped contrapuntal lines.
In order to sing this piece well, intense focus is required – but the end result, while always worth the work put in, can also be breathtaking. (Note by Diane Loomer)
Update (2007): Raminsh orchestrated the treble version’s piano part for Elektra’s 20th Anniversary concert. The scoring is string orchestra. Score and parts available through the composer.
Composer / Arranger Notes:
The original SATB version of my Ave Verum Corpus was written in two or three days in 1973 beneath a magnificent Araucaria tree in the Adelaide (South Australia) botanical garden while I was on a year-long trip around the world. There are some hidden references to the Mozart Ave Verum Corpus which was an inspiration for the work. The treble version was created later at the request of the Vancouver Bach Children’s Chorus.
This lists any discs, concerts or collections where this piece is included.
Ave verum corpus natum ex Maria Virgine
Verum passum immolatum
In cruce pro homine
Cujus latus perforatum,
unda fluxit sanguine:
Esto nobis praegustatum,
in mortis examine.
O dulcis, O pie, O Jesu Fili Mariae,
Miserere mei. Amen.
Hail, true Body, born of the Virgin Mary,
Who has truly suffered,
was sacrificed on the cross for mortals,
Whose side was pierced,
whence flowed water and blood:
Be for us a foretaste of heaven
during our final examining.
O Jesu sweet, O Jesu pure, Jesu son of Mary
Have mercy upon me. Amen.