Saturday, April 30, 2011

TODAY ON BASS SATURDAY- "Monstre affreux" from Rameau's Dardanus.

It is fun to imagine the awful monster in Rameau's opera to be a cross between the Kraken and the Cloverfield monster.

MONSTRE AFFREUX
Aria d'Anténor
Jean-Phillipe Rameau, Dardanus.

Voici les tristes lieux que le monstre ravage.
Hélas ! Si pour moi seul je craignais sa fureur
Je l'attendrais sur ce rivage
Pour être sa victime, et non pas son vainqueur.

Monstre affreux, monstre redoutable
Ah ! Que le sort me serait favorable,
S'il ne m'exposait qu'à vos coups,
Monstre affreux monstre redoutable.
Ah, l'Amour est encore plus terrible que vous. 

Contre votre fureur, il est du moins des armes,
Mais contre ses alarmes
Vainement on cherche un appui,
Il renatt des efforts qu'on fait pour le détruire,
Et le cœur même qu'il déchire 
Est d'intelligence avec lui. 

Monstre affreux, monstre redoutable 
Ah ! Que le sort me serait favorable, 
S'il ne m'exposait qu'à vos coups, 
Monstre affreux, monstre redoutable.
Ah, l'Amour est encore plus tenrible que vous.


DREADFUL MONSTER
English Translation

Here are the sad lands ravaged by the monster
Alas! If it were only for myself who feared his fury
I would await on this shore to be his victim
And not his vanquisher.

Dread monster, fearsome monster
Ah! How kind fate would be to me
If he exposed me only to no blows but yours!
Dread monster, fearsome monster
Ah! Love is much more terrible than you

At least against your fury there are weapons
But against his attacks
One looks in vain for support;
All efforts to destroy him only gives him new life
And the very heart that tears him apart
Is in league with him.

What a noise! What a horrible storm!
The waves rise up to the heavens;
I hear the terrible voice of vengeful thunder; 
Night wraps this place in a thick veil!
Come forth from your deep caverns,
Cruel monster, come forth. Let your hideous face
Add to the horror that reign over these waves.
Nothing can daunt an unhappy lover.
I see this fearsome monster. Come on!

The orchestra does not do justice here to the Bulgarian basso profundo Boris Christoff. He is Bulgarian, by the way, and not Russian! My apologies for the mistake in my last blog. Boris Christoff is very famous for singing Russian songs, like Kalinka or the Volga Boatmen. Easy to believe he's Russian. His performance of Monstre affreux in Dardanus is superb! What is missing is a strong orchestra, which in my opinion, should be inseparable from the singer, Thus, I believe that a much better version can be enjoyed by listening to a video featuring Laurent Naouri with Les Musiciens du Grenoble under the baton of Mark Minkowski.  Even though Laurent Naouri is not a bass singer, his baritone voice delivers an impeccable performance. The orchestra really highlights the throbbing heartbeat of Rameau's harrowing aria.

Though I was not able to post this gem on my blog, I suppose, for copyright reasons, I can gratefully redirect you to this impeccable performance: just click on this word: monster. But wait! Here it is with the same Laurent Naori, but in a video with ducks swimming in a pond, hardly the fearful monster depicted in the aria. Well, I suppose that a bug would look at a duck the way we look at the Kraken!

Here is an interpretation by French baritone Gérard Souzay:


To place the monster scene in context, here are scenes from a London Royal College of Music production of Rameau's opera Dardanus
This concludes Bass Saturday.


P.S. For a bit of fun, I've added a video of Boris Christoff singing Kalinka!





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Friday, April 29, 2011

TODAY ON BARITONE FRIDAY - "Der Vogelfanger bin ich ja" from Mozart's Magic Flute


For Baritone Friday, I have selected the charming aria "Ein Vogelfanger Bin Ich Ja" that introduces baritone Detlef Roth in his  funny interpretation of Papageno the Bird Catcher in Mozart's magical opera The Magic Flute or Die Zauberflote in German. 
 


Here are the lyrics to the aria:
 
Der Vogelfänger bin ich ja
Papageno's Aria from The Magic Flute

Der Vogelfänger bin ich ja, 
Stets lustig heissa hopsasa! 
Ich Vogelfänger bin bekannt 
bei Alt und Jung im ganzen Land. 
Weiß mit dem Lokken umzugehn 
und mich aufs Pfeiffen zu verstehen! 
Drum kann ich froh und lustig sein, 
Denn alle Vögel sind ja mein. 
Der Vogelfänger bin ich ja, 
Stets lustig heissa hopsasa! 
Ich Vogenfänger bin bekannt 
Bei Alt und Jung im ganzen Land. 
Ein Netz für Mädchen möchte ich;
Ich fing sie dutzendweis für mich! 
Dann sperrte ich sie bei mir ein 
Und alle Mädchen wären mein. 
Wenn alle Mädchen wären mein,
So tauschte ich brav Zukker ein.
Die welche mir am liebsten wär, 
der gäb ich gleich den Zukker her.
Und küsste sie mich zärtlich dann, 
Wär' sie mein Weib und ich ihr Mann. 
Sie schlief an meiner Seite ein; 
ich wiegte wie ein Kind sie ein.


"The Bird Catcher I Am Indeed"

ENGLISH TRANSLATION

The birdcatcher I am indeed, 
Always happy, heidi heh hey!
I, the birdcatcher, am well known
To old and young throughout the land. 
Know how to get around the bird decoys 
And be understood on the fife. 
Therefore I can be happy and funny, 
For all the birds are indeed mine. 
The birdcatcher I am indeed,
Always happy, heidi heh hey! 
I, the birdcatcher, am well-known 
To old and young throughout the land.
A net for girls is what I would like;
I¹d catch them by the dozen for me! 
Then I would lock them up with me 
And all the girls would be mine. 
If all the girls were mine, 
Then I¹d dutifully trade for some sugar. 
The one I liked the best, 
To her I would immediately give the sugar. 
And if she kissed me tenderly then, 
She would be my wife and I her husband. 
She would fall asleep by my side; 
I would rock her to sleep like a child. 

Listen to Dietrich Fischer in the role of Papageno:

Here is Simon Keenlyside singing the aria in a hilarious outfit:
 
Here is an English version of the Magic Flute with Nathan Gunn singing the role of Papageno. The costumes and decor look Chinese. One would think we had walked into a set of Turandot! The setting of the Magic Flute is supposed to be in a far-off land, equivalent to that Star Wars "in a galaxy long time ago". Many productions choose Egypt because of the Masonic symbology in the opera. The choice of ancient Cathay makes this production unique and quite interesting:

Here is Nathan Gunn singing the aria in the original German.
 
We end Baritone Friday with a clip from Ingmar Bergman's celebrated and fabulous film of the Magic Flute, sung in Swedish and with English subtitles. The Swedish language somehow fits well with Mozart's music.
This concludes our Baritone Friday.


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Thursday, April 28, 2011

TODAY ON TENOR THURSDAY - "La donne e mobile" from Verdi's Rigoletto.


"La donna è mobile"
from Giuseppe Verdi's opera Rigoletto (1851)


Italian Text

La donna è mobile
Qual piuma al vento,
Muta d'accento
e di pensiero.

Sempre un amabile,
Leggiadro viso,
In pianto o in riso,
è menzognero.

È sempre misero
Chi a lei s'affida,
Chi le confida
mal cauto il cuore!

Pur mai non sentesi
Felice appieno
Chi su quel seno
non liba amore!


WOMAN IS FICKLE
English Translation of 
"La donna e mobile"


Woman is fickle
Like a feather in the wind,
She changes her voice
and her mind.

Always sweet,
Pretty face,
In tears or in laughter,
she is always lying.

Always miserable
Is he who trusts her,
He who confides in her
his unwary heart!

Yet one never feels
Fully happy
Who on that bosom
does not drink love!


The aria "La donne e mobile" from Verdi's opera Rigoletto is perhaps the most famous tenor aria of all time. I just have to start with Enrico Caruso's 1907 recording. This was perhaps the first superstar recording of the century!
Here is Alessandro Bonci's recording, just a year before Caruso's superhit.

Here is Ferdinando Ciniselli's recording in 1924:
The great Beniamino Gigli in 1934:

Here is Jussi Bjorling's recording in 1937:
Here is Mario Lanza playing Caruso in a 1950s movie about the opera singer's life.

Here is Mario Lanza again singing an English version of the song in a radio program sponsored by Coca-Cola in 1952. Redirect by clicking here on Coca-Cola. For some reason it does not want to post on my blog!


Giuseppe di Stefano sang in many La Scala productions with Maria Callas. A great tenor, here he is singing "La donne e mobile" around the mid-50s.
We move forward in time to 1963 to hear Michael Trimble sing the Verdi Aria:
Here is Carlo Bergonzi in 1964. Listen to that long note he holds! Bravo!
Luciano Pavarotti is widely considered as having been the world's greatest tenor since Caruso. They say his voice is like a golden trumpet. Here he is singing "La donne e mobile". Pavarotti lives on!
Below is a clever video that compiles all the endings from "La donne e mobile" and spans throughout the years of history. Which ending is your favorite?
 

Placido Domingo is always a favorite of many. Here he is as the Duke of Mantua. There is just something about his voice that is so easily identifiable!
Lovely version by Jose Carreras of the aria and in excellent HD sound!
Now lets put the Three Tenors together and see how they all sound together, Without looking at the voices, can you guess who is singing at the moment?

Here is rising star Rolando Villazon.singing the aria.

We will finish with an HQ recording of the ever popular Andrea Bocelli.
So, which of the above is your favorite?

This concludes Tenor Thursday.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

TODAY ON COUNTERTENOR WEDNESDAY - " Va tacito e nascosto" from Handel's Giulio Cesare

Tolomeo (Ptolemy) and Caesar meet in a banquet. When Tolomeo subtly threatens him, Caesar responds with this incredible aria, saying that he will be on guard against any violence Tolomeo has planned. Caesar was played by a castrato in Handel's era. This has become a trouser role for many a mezzo-soprano. Occasionally, a male counter-tenor or an even rarer male soprano plays the role. Nowadays it is common to see the aria sung by a baritone.
 This is my favorite so far: countertenor Andreas Scholl. The quality of the orchestra is also excellent!


Here is Andreas Scholl again in a super Copenhagen production.in 2005 I love the contemporary costumes, as it shows the timelessness of Handel's opera.

The following version is sung by male countertenor, Philippe Jarousski. If you read music, you can also follow the notes:


Here are the lyrics:
"Va tacito e nascosto" 
Giulio Cesare's countertenor aria 
in the title role of Handel's greatest opera, Giulio Cesare

Va tacito e nascosto,
(It should be silent, sly and hidden.)

 quand'avido è di preda, 
(For our quandary are mere prey)
l'astuto cacciator.
(To a crafty and calculating hunter.) 

E chi è mal far disposto,
(And never forget, dear friends, he who is ill-prepared,) 

non brama che si veda
(Will not successfully spot)
l'inganno del suo cor. 

(The deception of a treacherous heart.)

Here is other version sung by notable countertenors. Here is David DQ Lee in a BBC presentation:

Here is a version by French countertenor Christophe Dumaux

An excellent interpretation from Greek countertenor, Nicholas Spanos. If one can step out of one's box, there is nothing effeminate about a counter-tenor's high voice. Nicholas gives a very 'macho' performance as a young wide-eyed Caesar. He is followed by French countertenor Christophe Dumaux:

Listen to countertenor Paul Esswood while looking at images of Caesar. Nice video to watch:

Countertenor David Daniel has an excellent version. Full voice and excellent HD sound. Enjoy!
Before we conclude Countertenor Wednesday. Let us look at female "trouser versions" of the role:

Here is the great contralto Ewa Podles:
Here is British mezzo-soprano Sarah Connelly in what is perhaps the best interpretation of Caesar I have ever seen, regardless of voice. Her acting is excellent!
For fun, let's hear a baritone version of the aria. Sung by the famous German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau:

To conclude our Contralto Wednesday, here is one of those combination videos that plays the whole aria quite smoothly by jumping from one singer to another. A tremendous technological feat...hats off to he person who created the video!


Tomorrow is Tenor Thursday!

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

TODAY ON CONTRALTO TUESDAY - "Voce di donna o d'angelo" from Ponchielli's La Gioconda


This is a poetic picture of La Cieca being cruelly burned at the stake after being accused of becoming a witch. In the dramatic Italian opera La Gioconda. In the  background is a photo of the Bridge of Sighs in the city of Venice.
La Cieca's Aria
"Voce di donna o d'angelo"
from Amilcare Ponchielli's
LA GIOCONDA


Ewa Podleś, one of the world's greatest and authentic contraltos, sings La Cieca

Lyrics

o
oo
ooo
oooo
ooooo
oooooooo
oooooooooooo
oooooooooooooooo
oooooooooooooooooooooo
oooooooooooooooooooooooo
ooooooooooooooooooooooo
ooooooooooooooooooooo
oooooooooooooooo
ooooooooooooooooooo
oooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
Voce di donna o d'angelo 
Sung by La Cieca
oooooooooooooooooooo     o       o     oooooooooooooooooooo
oooooooooooooooooooooo       oo           oooooooooooooooooooo
                                                   o    O     o                                                  
Voce di donna o d'angelo 
le mie catene ha sciolto; 
mi vietan le mie tenebre 
di quella santa il volto, 
pure da me non pàrtasi 
senza un pietoso don! 
A te questo rosario 
che le preghiere aduna; 
io te lo porgo,
accettalo,
ti porterà fortuna; 
sulla tua testa 
vigili la mia benedizion.
 Voce di donna o d'angelo
English translation 
O voice of woman or angel
Who has freed me of my chains, 
My blindness forbids me 
The sight of your saintly face. 
Still you cannot leave me 
Without a pious offering. 
I offer you this rosary, 
Pray, accept it. 
With my prayers added 
It will bring you luck. 
May my benediction 
Be on your head.

HERE ARE DIFFERENT VERSIONS OF THE ARIA: Contraltos are quite rare nowadays, so the role of La Cieca is often sung by a mezzo-soprano. Here is Caterina Secchi singing the role.

We may be able to find some contraltos in some older recordings:

Here is Margaret Harshaw singing the aria: CLICK here.


Here is mezzo-soprano Elena Cernei.


Here is the versatile Renata Scotto singing the role - the aria is shown from a live production and the aria is in full context here with the story. We are also helped along with subtitles. Great production!


This concludes Contralto Tuesday.

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Monday, April 25, 2011

TODAY ON MEZZO-SOPRANO MONDAY - "Mon coeur ouvre a sa voix" from Saint-Saens's Samson et Dalila.

With the help of Photoshop, I created this from the sensual and evocative album cover of a new Samson and Delila with the brilliant mezzo-soprano Elena Obraztsova and world-famous tenor Placido Domingo in the leading role. I will start Mezzo Soprano Monday with this beautiful video that shows paintings of artists who have been inspired by the Biblical story of Samson and Delilah (spelled Dalila in French). While you look at these gorgeous paintings, you will listen to the silky voice of Elena Obraztsova sing "Mon coeur ouvre a ta voix" in the arms of the powerful Placido Domingo in a San Francisco production of the opera. This HD modern state-of-the-art recording will be followed by an old Angel Records vinyl that I am particularly fond of!

Here are the immortal Jon Vickers and Rita Gorr in "Mon coeur s'ouvre a ta voix"
I used to own this opera on vinyl and to this day, it remains the most beautiful version of Saint-Saen's Samson et Dalila, conducted by Georges Prêtre. Listen to tenor Jon Vickers as a vigorous Samson and mezzo-soprano Rita Gorr as a rich and sensuous Dalila. We are fortunate to be able to follow this particular video which include the lyrics. At the end of the song, Vickers joins Gorr and the song becomes a duet, culminating with a climax in which the young and virile Vickers delivers the most deeply felt "je t'aime" ever uttered in the French language!

So you can see the aria in its entirety, I have posted the lyrics below in French and English. Afterward, follow the link to Maria Callas's version for another treat. I will never cease praising La Divina. We saw her as a dramatic coloratura soprano n a recent posting and now, here she is again, this time with a darker voice, in a dramatic mezzo-soprano role. Morever, her diction in French is impeccable. Magnifique!

Follow the next link to hear ...and see Vickers again, twenty years later, in a live performance with the legendary mezzo-soprano Shirley Verrett, who just passed away last week at the age of 79. Shirley's performance as Dalila is incredible! Vickers  is also pretty good. He may show his age, but his "je t'aime" remains as potent as ever! 

Finally, we will see Agnes Baltsa as a Dalila  again,  in the arms of the omniscient Placido Domingo. That may be it for now, but be sure to revisit this blog later for more entries. You never know what other gems may appear on YouTube! Here are the lyrics in French ,with an English translation:

French Lyrics and English Translation for
"Mon coeur s'ouvre a ta voix"
from Camille Saint-Saens's opera Samson et Dalila

DALILA:
Mon coeur s'ouvre à la voix,  ..........My heart opens to your voice, 
comme s'ouvrent les fleurs  ..........like the flowers open
Aux baiser de l'aurore!   ..........To the kisses of the dawn!
Mais, ô mon bienaimé,   ..........But, o my beloved,
pour mieux sécher mes pleurs,  ..........To dry my tears the best,
Que ta voix parle encore!  ..........Let your voice speak again! 
Dis-moi qu'à Dalila    ..........Tell me that to Dalila
tu reviens pour jamais,   ..........You will return forever,
Redis à ma tendresse   .........Repeat to my tenderness
Les serments d'autrefois,  ..........The oaths of other times,
ces serments que j'aimais!  ..........the oaths that I loved!
Ah! réponds à ma tendresse!  ..........Ah! respond to my tenderness!
Verse-moi, verse-moi l'ivresse!  ..........Pour out to me the drunkeness! 
 
SAMSON:
Dalila, Dalila, ..........Dalila, Dalila,
Je t'aime...........I love you!,
  
DALILA:
Ainsi qu'on voit des blés  ..........Like one sees the wheat
les épis onduler   ..........the blades undulate
Sous la brise légère,   ..........Under the light breeze, 
Ainsi frémit mon coeur,   ..........So trembles my hear,
prêt à se consoler,   ..........ready to be consoled,
A ta voix qui m'est chère!  ..........by your voice which is dear to me! 
La flèche est moins rapide  ..........The arrow is less quick
à porter le trépas,   ..........to carry death, 
Que ne l'est ton amante   ..........Than is your love 
à voler dans tes bras!   ..........to fly into my arms! 
Ah! réponds à ma tendresse!  ..........Ah! respond to my tenderness!
Verse-moi, verse-moi l'ivresse!  ..........Pour out to me the drunkenness! 
 
SAMSON:
Dalila, Dalila, ..........Dalila, Dalila,
Je t'aime...........I love you!
 
Here are some Wikipedia links to read more about the opera Samson et Delila and the composer Camille Saint-Saens.

HERE are links to other versions of "Mon cœur ouvre a sa voix.To enrichen the Samson and Dalila experience, I will also be redirecting you to other video clips that are related to the story of the opera. For example, a scene from the movie Samson and Delilah with Victor Mature and Hedy Lamarr, or a short video study of the famous painting by Rubens. Just click on the symbol "///O///" to find the link.
  • Maria Callas, concert solo (audio only) ///O///
  • Shirley Verrett and Jon Vickers (televised opera) ///O///
  • Agnes Baltsa and Placido Domingo (televised opera) ///O///
  • A short video viewing in HD, details from the famous painting of Samson and Delilah by Peter Paul Rubens. Here is the link:  ///O///
  • The great African American mezzo-soprano, Marian Anderson, sings Dalila's aria in English ///O///
  • Here is a scene from the 1950 Cecil de Mille epic between Victor Mature and Hedy Lamarr as Samson and Delilah. You can watch the whole movie on the YouTube! ///O///


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Sunday, April 24, 2011

MY EASTER LAUNCH ON SOPRANO SUNDAY - "Ave Maria"


A personal prayer to thee, Maria de la Caridad del Cobre, Patron Saint of Cuba! Today, on Easter Sunday, I will officially launch my Opera Blog to the general public. I pray for thy protection and thy inspiration to make this a site that will bring a little slice of happiness to those who visit my blog, a little slice of happiness, regardless of religion or musical tastes that are different from mine! AMEN.

My friends and family know how passionate I am about opera. I want to share this love plus my research, with the rest of the world! I do not claim to be an expert on the subject as I still have a lot to learn; however, I do claim a healthy amount of expertise. I have listened to opera since I was a child and have a very intimate relationship with the opera world. It was opera that taught me how to speak Italian, French and German,

With all the new technology connecting us across the oceans, it is now possible to share one's interests and passions with whoever cares to look and listen,  regardless of border or distance. Even Time is beginning to bend; I'm not talking about the differences in time zones: that is more about mechanics and geographical position. I am talking about my newfound ability to post a blog in the future, or most curiously, in the past! This concept will be explored in my other blog, the Tribian Gazetteer

Meanwhile, this ability to travel back in time is a great way to meet long dead composers, famous singers, and even the real and imaginary heroes, heroines (and villains) from the operatic repertoire. Opera, after all, is all about story and this blog is as much a Space Opera as Star Trek, but the planets we will visit are Nibelungheim or 18th century Seville, St. Mark's Square in Venice or Bleeker Street in New York, Dido's palace in ancient Carthage or the People's Palace in modern China. Perhaps, Star Trek composer Ron Jones might be inspired to write a serious opera based on the fabulous music that has graced the television series for decades.

After two months of learning the basic ropes of the very new art of blogging, today I project myself astrally to Easter Sunday, April 24, 2011, the day I make my public debut with the blog I call "The Opera House Gazetteer." Today is Easter "Soprano" Sunday, and I dedicate this site to Santa Maria de la Caridad del Cobre, patron saint of all Cubans on earth or adrift at sea.

As for the title of my blog, the word "gazetteer" was chosen. A "gazetteer" usually refers to a geographical guide, a kind of encyclopedia. The word is a corruption of the Venetian gazetta which used to be a newspaper that could be bought with a diminutive coin called a gazetta. The root of the word has an even older history: It was brought from east to west, across the Hellespont,  by the Greek armies of Alexander the Great, It comes from the ancient Persian word gaza which means "treasure".

Today we will start our program with la divina Maria Callas singing Verdi's beautiful "Ave Maria" from the opera Otello before we go on to the more familiar, but equally beautiful Ave Marias from the opera, oratorio and art music repertoire. We also hope to discover some other rare and less-known versions of this beautiful prayer in song.

The beautiful Maria Callas. My favorite Diva in every way!
AVE MARIA, 
Desdemona's aria from Otello

Ave Maria, piena di grazia, eletta .......Hail Mary, full of grace, chosen 
Fra le spose e le vergini sei tu, .......Among wives and maidens art thou, 
Sia benedetto il frutto, o benedetta, .......Blessed be the fruit, o blessed one, 
Di tue materne viscere, Gesù. .......Of thy womb, Jesus. 
Prega per chi  .......Pray for the one 
adorando a te si prostra, .......Who kneels in prayer before you, 
Prega nel peccator, .......Pray for the sinner,
per l'innocente,  .......For the one who is innocent,
E pel debole oppresso e pel possente, and for the mighty, 
Misero anch'esso, .......And for the weak and oppressed, 
tua pietà dimostra. .......Also wretched, show thy mercy. 
Prega per chi sotto .......Pray for the one
l'oltraggio piega .......Who bows his head 
La fronte e sotto la malvagia sorte; .......Under injustice and under misfortune; 
Per noi, per noi tu prega, prega ....... Pray thou for us, pray 
Sempre e nell'ora della morte nostra, .......Ever and in the hour of our death, 
Prega per noi, prega per noi, prega. .......Pray for us, pray for us, pray. 
Ave Maria . . . Hail Mary . . . 
Nell'ora della morte. ........In the hour of our death.
Ave!. . .Amen! .......Hail! . . . Amen! 

For most versions of the Ave Maria, here is the original Latin prayer, and translation: 

Ave Maria, gratia plena: .......Hail Mary, full of grace; 
Dominus tecum: .......The Lord is with thee; 
Benedicta tu in mulieribus, .......Blessed art thou among women, 
Et benedictus fructus  .......And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
ventris tui Iesus. .......And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. 
Sancta Maria mater Dei, .......Holy Mary, mother of God, 
Ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc, .......Pray for us sinners, now, 
Et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen. ......And in the hour of our death. Amen.



Here's the very interesting version arranged by the French composer Gounod who created this beautiful melodic line on top of the harmonic beauty of the Prelude in C by Bach :




Although Barbra Streisand is a popular singer, her voice is magnificent in this contemporary version of "Ave Maria" (the back-up voices make the song sound a little corny, I must confess). She is definitely a mezzo-soprano and her high notes are superb. I hope to find more of her singing the great classics, hopefully with a more traditional orchestral arrangement and without a chorus. Barbra needs no backup!


Here is Schubert's famous version, sung by light soprano in German. The lyrics are below :
o
oo
ooo
oooo
ooooo
oooooo
ooooooo
oooooooo
ooooooooo
oooooooooo
AVE MARIA
Schubert Version ;
Ave Maria! Jungfrau mild,
Erhöre einer Jungfrau Flehen,
Aus diesem Felsen starr und wild
Soll mein Gebet zu dir hinwehen.
Wir schlafen sicher bis zum Morgen,
Ob Menschen noch so grausam sind.
O Jungfrau, sieh der Jungfrau Sorgen,
O Mutter, hör ein bittend Kind!
Ave Maria!
Ave Maria! Unbefleckt!
Wenn wir auf diesen Fels hinsinken
Zum Schlaf, und uns dein Schutz bedeckt
Wird weich der harte Fels uns dünken.
Du lächelst, Rosendüfte wehen
In dieser dumpfen Felsenkluft,
O Mutter, höre Kindes Flehen,
O Jungfrau, eine Jungfrau ruft!
Ave Maria
oooooooo
ooooooooo
oooooooooo
oooooooooo
oooooooooooo
ooooooooooooo
ooooooooooooooo
ooooooooooooooooo
Ave Maria! Reine Magd!
Der Erde und der Luft Dämonen,
Von deines Auges Huld verjagt,
Sie können hier nicht bei uns wohnen,
Wir woll'n uns still dem Schicksal beugen,
Da uns dein heil'ger Trost anweht;
Der Jungfrau wolle hold dich neigen,
Dem Kind, das für den Vater fleht.
-------------Ave Maria-------------
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ENGLISH TRANSLATION
Ave Maria! Maiden mild!
Listen to a maiden's pleading
From these rocks, stark and wild,
my prayer shall be wafted to thee.
we shall sleep safely till morning,
though men be ever so cruel.
o Maiden, see a maiden's distress,
O Mother, hear a suppliant child.


Ave Maria, undefiled!
When we upon this rock lie down
to slumber, and they protection covers us,
The hard stone will seem soft to us.
If Though smilest, the scent of roses will float
Through this murky cavern,
O Mother, hear a child's petition,
O maiden, 'tis a maid that calls!

Ave Maria, Maiden pure,
the demons of the earth and air,
driven forth by thy gracious glance
cannot stay here with us.
we will camly bow to fate
Since they holy comfort hovers over us;
Mayest though be favourably inclined to the maiden,
To the child that pleads for her father!

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