I find Ave Maria  by Franz Schubert to be a beautiful song, this particular version is sung with the beautiful voice of Barbara Bonney.  Please play the video to listen whilst you read the rest of this short page about this piece of opera music.

Ave Maria - Hail Mary

The German composer Franz Schubert composed Ave Maria around 1825 when he was 28 years old.  The song is filled with beauty and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.  The song was composed to be played with vocals and piano and was first published in 1826 as Opera 52 no 6.

The words most commonly used with Schubert's music are not the words that the composer originally set to music. Franz Schubert actually wrote the music for an excerpt from the poem The Lady of the Lake by Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832), which was translated into German by Adam Storck. Schubert called his piece Ellens Dritter Gesang.

The beautiful German version as sung in the Youtube video by Barbara Bonney as pictured below

Ave Maria Jungfrau mild,
Erhre 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, hore 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 lachelst, Rosendüfte wehen
In dieser dumpfen Felsenkluft,
O Mutter, hore Kindes Flehen,
O Jungfrau, eine Jungfrau ruft!
Ave Maria!

Ave Maria  Reine Magd
Der Erde und der Luft Damonen,
Von deines Auges Huld verjagt,
Sie konnen 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!

And the English translation:


Ave Maria! maiden mild!
Listen to a maiden's prayer!
Thou canst hear though from the wild;
Thou canst save amid despair.
Safe may we sleep beneath thy care,
Though banish'd, outcast and reviled -
Maiden! hear a maiden's prayer;
Mother, hear a suppliant child!
Ave Maria

Ave Maria! undefiled!
The flinty couch we now must share
Shall seem this down of eider piled,
If thy protection hover there.
The murky cavern's heavy air
Shall breathe of balm if thou hast smiled;
Then, Maiden! hear a maiden's prayer,
Mother, list a suppliant child!
Ave Maria!

Ave Maria! stainless styled.
Foul demons of the earth and air,
From this their wonted haunt exiled,
Shall flee before thy presence fair.
We bow us to our lot of care,
Beneath thy guidance reconciled;
Hear for a maid a maiden's prayer,
And for a father hear a child!
Ave Maria

A letter from Schubert to his father and stepmother refers to the music of Ave Maria:  

"My new songs from Scott's Lady of the Lake especially had much success. They also wondered greatly at my piety, which I expressed in a hymn to the Holy Virgin and which, it appears, grips every soul and turns it to devotion."

 The adapted Latin words of Ave Maria prayer are now the version most commonly performed with this great piece from Schubert.


Franz Schubert 31 January 1797 - 19 November 1828 Place of Birth : Lichtental, Austria.  He died in Vienna, Austria after contracting Typhus at the young age of just 31. R.I.P