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Biebl Ave Maria more helpful stuff


Here is additional helpful material for the Biebl Ave Maria.
If you use this material, please give credit to Dr. Wilbur Skeels.


Program Note by Dr. Wilbur Skeels
Herr Biebl told me that when he was organist/choirmaster and teacher in
the F├╝rstenfeldbruck parish near Munich he had in his church choir a
fireman. It was common for companies, factories, police and fire
departments, etc. to
sponsor an employees' choir, which often would participate in choral
competitions and festivals with other similar choirs. This fireman asked
Biebl to please compose something for his fireman's choir for such an
occasion. The result was the Ave Maria (double male choir version).

The piece gained practically no attention in Germany for many years.
However, when Biebl was the head of choral programs for the Bayerischen
Rundfunk (Bavarian Radio) he made a habit of inviting American choirs to
come to Munich and sing on the radio and with other German choirs. One
these choirs was introduced to his Ave Maria and brought it back to the
US, where it became increasingly popular. When Chanticleer recorded it,
it became a hit, not only in the US but in Germany too, which now
considered the piece must be special as it was such a hit in America!
Biebl did arrangements for other voicings, and the seven-part mixed
choir arrangement is now probably the most popular.
The text is unique in its conjoining of two sources. The first source
is the thrice-daily devotional exercise called the Angelus in the
Catholic Church. It is cued by the ringing of the "Angelus" bell,
sometimes referred to as the "Peace Bell." It consists of a
thrice-repeated "Hail Mary," each with an introductory versicle based on
the Gospel, followed by a concluding versicle and prayer.

Here is the first part of the Angelus, the only part that Biebl uses:

Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae
The Angel of the Lord announced to Mary

Et concepit de Spiritu Sancto.
And she conceived by the Holy Spirit.

[Ave Maria, Sancta Maria.]
[Hail Mary, Holy Mary.]

Ecce ancilla Domini
Behold the handmaiden of the Lord

Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum.
Do to me according to your word.

[Ave Maria, Sancta Maria.]
[Hail Mary, Holy Mary.]

Et verbum caro factum est
And the Word was made flesh

Et habitavit in nobis
And dwelt among us.

[Ave Maria, Sancta Maria]
[Hail Mary, Holy Mary]

[Ora pro nobis sancta Dei genetrix . . .]
In place of the "Ave Maria, Sancta Maria" from the Angelus text, Biebl
has substituted the first part of the even more familiar text of the
standard "Ave Maria" prayer [Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum,
etc.] and in lieu of the closing versicle and prayer of the "Angelus" he
has substituted
the second part of the "Ave Maria" [Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro
nobis, etc.], so that the whole is a hybrid of the two ancient texts.


Terry J. Barham, Ph. D.
Director of Choral Activities
Emporia State University
Emporia, KS 66801
620-341-5436 (ph)
620-341-5601 (fax)

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