O magnum mysterium / Ave Maria by Adrian Willaert (1490-1562). Edited by Ralph W. Buxton. For SATB choir a cappella. Liturgical Use: Christmas Eve. Text: Latin. Choral. Vocal score. Text Language: Latin. Duration ca. 6 minutes. Published by Notre Dame Choir Editions (PE.NDC013).
With Text Language: Latin. Choral.
The hushed mystery traditionally associated with the text of this responsory motet is conveyed in elegantly shaped lines of imitative counterpoint punctuated by subtly expressive harmonies. By contrast, the central Ave Maria verse is given a fervent homophonic treatment to offer a pointed contrast to the flowing polyphony of the other sections. This motet offers an attractive alternate to the better-known setting of this text by Victoria.