This extraordinarily beautiful setting of the Ave Maria is by far Robert Parsons’s best known work. Parsons became a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal in 1563, and wrote much music for that choir. That he should reserve his best music for this Latin Marian hymn—a mainstay of the Catholic tradition—perhaps suggests where his sympathies lay in the Protestant regime of Elizabeth I. The Ave Maria is rooted in the Christmas story—it is based on the greeting of the Angel Gabriel to Mary, as told in Luke I. Parsons’s response is a work of serene counterpoint that reaches its pinnacle in a rapturous Amen, before coming to rest in the reassuring warmth of F major—a perfect key for brass instruments.

Parts included:

  • Score
  • Trumpet in E-flat
  • Trumpet 1 in B-flat
  • Trumpet 2 in B-flat
  • Trombone 1
  • Trombone 2
  • Trombone 3 (Bass)
  • Tuba

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