Ave Maria
Franz Schubert, 1825
 



1905 Martin Style 5 Bowlback Mandolin



1924 Gibson K-2 Mando Cello

1980s Classical M. Horabe Model 35 Guitar

Unknown American Maker 1940s Upright Bass

 

"Ellens dritter Gesang" ("Ellens Gesang III", D. 839, Op. 52, No. 6, 1825), in English: "Ellen's Third Song", was composed by Franz Schubert in 1825 as part of his Opus 52, a setting of seven songs from Walter Scott's popular epic poem The Lady of the Lake, loosely translated into German.

It has become one of Schubert's most popular works, recorded by a wide variety and large number of singers, under the title of Ave Maria, in arrangements with various lyrics which commonly differ from the original context of the poem. It was arranged in three versions for piano by Franz Liszt.

Contents

1 The Lady of the Lake and the Ave Maria
2 Position within the cycle
3 Lyrics
4 Use in Disney's Fantasia
5 Notes
6 External links

The Lady of the Lake and the Ave Maria

The piece was composed as a setting of a song from Walter Scott's popular epic poem The Lady of the Lake,[1] in a German translation by Adam Storck (de) (1780–1822),[2] and thus forms part of Schubert's Liederzyklus vom Fräulein vom See. In Scott's poem the character Ellen Douglas, the Lady of the Lake (Loch Katrine in the Scottish Highlands), has gone with her exiled father to stay in the Goblin's cave as he has declined to join their previous host, Roderick Dhu, in rebellion against King James. Roderick Dhu, the chieftain of Clan Alpine, sets off up the mountain with his warriors, but lingers and hears the distant sound of the harpist Allan-bane, accompanying Ellen who sings a prayer addressed to the Virgin Mary, calling upon her for help. Roderick Dhu pauses, then goes on to battle.[3]

Schubert's arrangement is said to have first been performed at the castle of Countess Sophie Weissenwolff in the little Austrian town of Steyregg and dedicated to her, which led to her becoming known as "the lady of the lake" herself.[4]

The opening words and refrain of Ellen's song, namely "Ave Maria" (Latin for "Hail Mary"), may have led to the idea of adapting Schubert's melody as a setting for the full text of the traditional Roman Catholic prayer Ave Maria. The Latin version of the Ave Maria is now so frequently used with Schubert's melody that it has led to the misconception that he originally wrote the melody as a setting for the Ave Maria.
Position within the cycle

In 1825, Schubert composed a selection of seven songs from Scott's The Lady of the Lake. They were published in 1826 as his Opus 52.