Why compose yet another Ave Maria? After all, there are innumerable other settings of the Angelic Salutation, many of them great masterpieces. Yet any new treatment of even the most familiar words can, I hope, say something unique about them.
I have divided the bipartite text into three sections. In the first, divided sopranos and altos lead the hymning of the Virgin. After an impassioned and anguished outburst ("Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis"), there follows a solemn