commentary to opus 97e1

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Gegrüßet seist du, Maria (Hail Mary) for 6 - 8 part mixed choir a capella, op. 97e1 (1993)


Gegrüßet seist du, Maria

First performance: May 16, 1994, Würzburg, Kiliansdom
Würzburger Domchor / Siegfried Koesler

Dedication: for my sister Erika

Duration: 3 Minutes

Publisher: Schott Music C 53714 / ISMN: 979-0-001-17092-5

Foreword (Schott Music C 53714)

Bertold Hummel composed the motet Gegrüßet seist du, Maria (Hail Mary) on 20 May 1993 and dedicated it to the memory of his deeply religious sister Erika. In the same year, my father co-founded the Bruckner Festival in Wurzburg and regarded his motet as a salutation for the composer with its reminiscence of Anton Bruckner's well-known 7-part Ave Maria: both composers select the juxtaposition of upper and lower voices in the opening section of their works and Bertold Hummel quotes Bruckner's final cadence on the name of Jesus prior to the Amen. In 1997, he utilised this material to produce a version sung in Latin. (C 53543)

The text of the so-called Angelic Salutation is based on Bible passages from the Gospel of St Luke (Luke 1,28b, 42) which was extended over the centuries with additions such as Jesus (14th century) and the Invocation to Mary (16th century).This text was included in the Breviary of Pope Pius V in 1568 which officially confirmed its status as a prayer. The German translation of the text utilised in this motet corresponds to the Ecumenical version which has been utilised since 1968.

Martin Hummel


Gegrüßet seist du, Maria

Gegrüßest seist du, Maria, voll der Gnade,
der Herr ist mit dir.
Du bist gebenedeit unter den Frauen,
und gebenedeit ist die Frucht deines Leibes, Jesus.
Heilige Maria, Mutter Gottes,
bitte für uns Sünder
jetzt und in der Stunde unseres Todes.

English Translation:

Hail, Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with you.
Blessed are you amongst women
and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners
now and in the hour of our death.

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