Friday, February 12, 2016

105. Ave Maria

Getting inspiration from National Geographic's December 2015 issue which featured an impressive article on Mother Mary in history, I drew up a playlist in Spotify called "Ave Maria". I have so far listed 22 songs.

The most familiar song in the list is Bach's Prelude No. 1, which has been recorded by Pavarotti, Bocelli, the Vienna Boys' Choir, and Yo Yo Ma. Franz Schubert's Ave Maria is particularly meditative and Pavarotti's version sends a certain chill down the spine. The Three Tenors' version is in there too, but Pavarotti's powerful voice shows he really owns this song. Bocelli's version of Guilio Caccini's Ave Maria is amazing, and it is the kind of song that sticks to your head, as the two words "Ave" and "Maria" go up and down the scale, while you go about your day uncertain of things but assured someone like your mother has got your back. Charlotte Church and Julian Lloyd Webber have their versions, and if you put the three versions on repeat shuffle, the day is fully covered. A note in Wikipedia says it was actually Vladimir Vavilov who first published it and credited it to "Anonymous" in 1970. But subsequently after his death, someone credited it to Caccini. It has since become very famous worldwide. I can understand why this is so because the beautiful melody highlights the singer's range and tone and the simple lyrics gives it a hook that stays with the listener forever. I have listed three Filipino songs from the Jesuit Community's Bukas Palad. My personal favorite is Stella Maris which my wife, Maria Celeste, sang in the last night of the wake of her late grandmother Maria Corazon. I've often wondered how this song will sound without a sophisticated choral and instrumental arrangement, but just a duet, harp or guitar and a flute, accompanying a soprano. I will be on a hunt for more Ave Maria songs, and I hope to make this a gesture of my lifetime devotion to Mother Mary. The Spotify link to the playlist is here:

Update: The list is now up to 38 songs as of Feb 13, 2016.

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