#02 Ave Maria, oui mais… lequel ?

Ensemble la Sportelle, vocal ensemble
Emmeran Rollin, organist

Laetitia Corcelle soprano and conductor
Ariane Wohlhuter soprano
Anne Bertin-Hugault, Marie Royer Camilleri altos
Steeve Zheng, Thibault Givaja tenors
Cédric Baillergeau, Xavier Bazoge bass
Emmeran Rollin organ

Recorded at the Basilique Saint-Sauveur in Rocamadour and at the Chapelle du Grand Couvent in Gramat (Lot, France) in February 2022.

The idea of bringing together so many Ave Marias arose from a question I have often asked myself. People frequently say they want me to sing Ave Maria at weddings or other key moments in their lives. And, on each occasion, I wonder which one they mean.

So, this album (whose title translates to Ave Maria, yes… but which?) was born as an answer to this question, or rather the beginnings of an answer because the repertoire is immense! The Ave Maria text has inspired hundreds of composers and continues to do so today.

This means the album takes you on a journey through the ages to discover how every period and style has made the text its own. The journey has four stages, each ending in the other great Christian prayer, the Lord’s Prayer, in German, French, Russian and Latin.
The album opens with the root of all Western sacred music: Gregorian chant. From there, the journey takes us through Renaissance and early Baroque Europe, where everything contrasts: emotions, Latin pronunciation and text variants. Then come the well-known arias: those by Schubert and Gounod, of course, and Rossini‘s little-played aria, reminiscent of his Petite Messe solennelle. Stage 3 is profoundly Romantic, with music built on harmonic density, long lines and thick vocal texture, creating a fervent, passionate atmosphere. Finally, opening with the poetic music of Poulenc, the last phase of the journey takes us back to our own time, where creativity and inspiration continue to abound, with two pieces written for Ensemble la Sportelle.

Press review

The Ensemble la Sportelle offers its audience a truly beautiful CD. While it may come as a surprise to see an album devoted solely to the theme of the Ave Maria, the choices are excellent. The beauty of the voices and the discreet, sober organ accompaniment give life to an original programme that pays a fine tribute to the Holy Mother of Jesus“. Hélène Biard, Toute la culture – 26 July 2022



1. Grégorien Ave Maria – offertoire
2. Jakob Handl Ave Maria
3. Jean Mouton Ave Maria
4. Guillaume Bouzignac Ave Maria
5. Tomás Luis de Victoria Ave Maria
6. Heinrich Schütz Vater unser

7. Franz Schubert Ave Maria
8. Charles Gounod Ave Maria (4 voix)
9. Charles Gounod Ave Maria
10. Gioachino Rossini Ave Maria
11. Maurice Duruflé Notre Père

12. Giuseppe Verdi Ave Maria
13. Franz Liszt Ave Maria
14. Nicolaï Kedrov Otche Nash

15. Francis Poulenc Ave Maria
16. Jaakko Mäntyjärvi Ave Maria d’Aosta
17. Bertrand Richou Ave Maria
18. Jean-Philippe Billmann Je vous salue Marie
19. Pëteris Vasks Pater noster