jane's blog

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Verdi's Ave Marias

Verdi wrote his gigantically beautiful and opera-like “Requiem,” and was then coaxed by composer/librettist Boito and publisher Ricordi to compose another opera, “Otello,” based on the Shakespeare play. Expressions of the “Ave Maria” had always interested Verdi, and his Act IV "Ave Maria" exemplifies Verdi's finesse and devout love for the expression of prayer.
Verdi's song, “Ave Maria,“ taken from Canticle III-The Prayer-of Dante Alighieri’s “Divine Comedy,” differs somewhat in intent and text from the “Ave Maria” in Verdi’s Shakespeare based opera, “Otello,” but it exemplifies beautiful spiritual/vocal expression, differing just enough from that of "Otello" to offer a delicious "Ave Maria" variation in the song genre. This song is found in my upcoming anthology, soon to be published by Oxford University Press.

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