Sunday, September 17, 2017

Vespers: Ave Verum Corpus

The King's College Choir, Cambridge, sings Mozart's "Ave Verum Corpus."

"Ave verum corpus" {"Hail, true body") is a short Eucharistic hymn that has been set to music by various composers. It dates from the 14th century and has been attributed to Pope Innocent VI.

Mozart's handwritten score.
During the Middle Ages it was sung at the elevation of the host during the consecration. It was also used frequently during Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

The poem is a meditation on the Catholic belief in Jesus's Real Presence in the sacrament of the Eucharist, and ties it to the Catholic conception of the redemptive meaning of suffering in the life of all believers.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed this motet in D major composed in 1791. Mozart wrote it for Anton Stoll, a friend who was the church musician of St. Stephan, Baden in Baden bei Wien. The motet was composed for the feast Corpus Christi.

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