Brass Band – Ave Maris Stella
Ave Maris Stella – Hail Star of the Sea. This is a hymn to the Virgin
Mary from the catholic liturgy. I was inspired to write it after a
combiation of teaching species counterpoint and a watching a rather
poignant documentary about some of the rituals surrounding the Virgin
Mary in several parts of the world, especially in Italy.
The piece has an Incipit in the euphonium at the start, which can be
omitted if you aren’t using it in church, but it sets the tone of the
piece rather well. This incipit is based on a plainchant melody from the
16th century. The music evolves in a polyphonic style, using the rules
of counterpoint until the fanfares, which I see as proclaiming the role
of the Mother of Jesus, which break with the mediaeval traditions and
use modern harmonic structures to bring the work to a rousing finish.
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