The various versions of Ave Maria (Hail Mary), take a special place in music history. The most heartfelt prayer of the Catholic Church has, since the Renaissance, inspired composers to write pieces carried by sweet melodies, intimate vocal-lines (usually female), and angelic accompaniments.
Not inappropriately, many of these works became particularly popular due to their ability to satisfy the basic human need for harmony, for becoming one with nature and creation. This music imparts a feeling of nurturing, faith beyond the influence of the Church, often infused with romantic sensualism and a peculiar symbiosis of girlishness and womanhood. The works on this recording reach beyond the scoring of religious texts to a series of other pieces that similarly convey this mood.