Advent Music: Alma Redemptoris Mater

Alma Redemptoris Mater, quae pervia caeli
Porta manes, et stella maris, succurre cadenti,
Surgere qui curat, populo: tu quae genuisti,
Natura mirante, tuum sanctum Genitorem
Virgo prius ac posterius, Gabrielis ab ore
Sumens illud Ave, peccatorum miserere.

Two versions. First, sung by my friend Jeremiah:

alma redemptoris mater prime

And Palestrina’s setting.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Advent, Liturgical Music, Music. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Advent Music: Alma Redemptoris Mater

  1. Liam says:

    My favorite Marian antiphon. I was surprised at the, um, breadth of the tempo Gardiner takes with this; I am accustomed to a more flowing tempo.

    One performance note: one can treat the moment of Gabriel’s “Ave” as a kind of zikkaron (to borrow a Hebraism) moment – as an ikon is a pictorial window into an eternal metaphysical reality, in Western music one has aural ikons that may offer a similar contact point, and I argue this is one of those.

    • Liam says:

      A more concrete performance note: if one adopts a more flowing tempo, arriving at the threshold (at “illud”) of the “Ave” (a subtle glottal clarity helps on the opening vowel) one adopts a slight rubato that creates a sense of elevated suspension moving out of strict time followed by a brief lift (just a hint of eternity, very subtle) then moving back into the flowing tempo. That’s the best I can offer to describe it.

  2. Alexa says:

    There is another lovely recording of the Alma by Francisco Guerrero on YouTube by the oratorychoir on their channel.

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