Music for String Trio

Franz Schubert Portrait

Ave Maria

Composed by Franz Schubert (1797-1828)

Arranged for String Trio

by Daniel Leavitt

This bucolic masterpiece can also be used to accompany a singer.


Score excerpt (PDF)

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Cat. No. ST355

Price $7.00

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Ave Maria was composed in about 1825 by Franz Schubert (1797-1828) when he was twenty-eight years old. It was written for voice and piano and first Published in 1826 as Op 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 (Ellen's third song). In this particular excerpt from the poem the heroine, Ellen Douglas, is in hiding and prays to the Virgin Mary. A letter from Schubert to his father and step-mother refers to his music to Ave Maria:  

"My new song 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 original words by Sir Walter Scott are detailed below and include many references to the Latin "Ave Maria" prayer. This, no doubt, inspired an unknown person to fit the Latin "Ave Maria" prayer text to Schubert's notes, and it almost succeeds with a couple of exceptions. The adapted Latin words of Ave Maria prayer ( Hail Mary ) is now the version most commonly performed with the music of Schubert.