Ave verum corpus


Ave verum corpus

"Ave verum corpus" is a short Eucharistic hymn dating from the 14th century and attributed to Pope Innocent VI (d. 1362), which has been set to music by various composers. During the Middle Ages it was sung at the elevation of the host during the consecration. It was also used frequently during Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

The hymn's title means "Hail, true body", and is based on a poem deriving from a 14th-century manuscript from the Abbey of Reichenau, Lake Constance. The poem is a meditation on the Catholic belief in Jesus's Real Presence in the sacrament of the Eucharist, and ties it to Catholic ideas on the redemptive meaning of suffering in the life of all believers.

Text

The text is in Latin, and reads:

:"Ave verum corpus natum":"de Maria Virgine," [Other versions have "ex Maria Virgine".] :"vere passum, immolatum":"in cruce pro homine,":"cuius latus perforatum":"unda fluxit et sanguine," [Other versions have "fluxit aqua et sanguine".] :"esto nobis praegustatum":"in mortis examine." [Other versions have "mortis in examine".]

A translation into English is:

:Hail the true body,:Born of the Virgin Mary,:Truly suffered, sacrificed:On the Cross for mankind,:Whose pierced side:Flowed with water and blood,:Let it be for us, in consideration,:A foretaste of death.

Mozart's "Ave verum corpus"

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's setting of "Ave verum corpus" (K. 618) was written for Anton Stoll (a friend of his and Haydn's) who was musical co-ordinator in the parish of Baden, near Vienna. It was composed to celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi and the autograph is dated 17 June 1791. It is only forty-six bars long and is scored for choir, stringed instruments, and organ. Mozart's manuscript itself contains minimal directions, with only a single "sotto voce" at the beginning.

Mozart composed this motet while in the middle of writing his opera "Die Zauberflöte", and while visiting his wife Constanze, who was pregnant with their sixth child and staying in a spa near Baden. It was less than six months before Mozart's death.

Other settings

There are many other settings of the poem, of which probably the best known are those by William Byrd and Sir Edward Elgar. The text is even used in an opera, Poulenc's "Dialogues of the Carmelites". Mozart's version, with instruments only, was adapted by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky as one of the sections of his "Mozartiana", a tribute to Mozart. The Vienna Boys' Choir (Wiener Sangerknaben) made some notable recordings of Mozart's "Ave Verum Corpus" in the 20th century.

A recent version of this piece was recorded by the girl choristers that make up the group [http://www.allangelsofficial.com/ "All Angels"] ; the words set to the music from the ITV series Brideshead Revisited by Geoffrey Burgon.

Notes

External links

*
*Mozart's [http://www.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php/Ave_verum_corpus%2C_KV_618_%28Wolfgang_Amadeus_Mozart%29 Ave verum corpus] on [http://www.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page Choral Wiki] .
*Elgar's [http://www.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php/Ave_Verum%2C_Op._1%2C_No._2_%28Edward_Elgar%29 Ave Verum] on [http://www.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page Choral Wiki] .
*William Byrd's [http://www.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php/Ave_verum_corpus_%28William_Byrd%29 Ave verum corpus] on [http://www.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page Choral Wiki] .
*William Byrd's [http://bach.nau.edu/Byrd/AveVerum.html Ave Verum Corpus] as interactive hypermedia at the [http://bach.nau.edu/ BinAural Collaborative Hypertext]
*


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