Category:   ETHNIC MUSIC
Composer:   Jaakko Mäntyjärvi
Publisher:   Sulasol
Edition:   S345
Voicing:   SATB
Setting:   A Cappella


Kathy Romey
University of Minnesota 2001
R&R Chair Ethnic Music

Finnish composer Jaako Mäntyjärvi is known for his eclectic compositional style as demonstrated in such songs as “The Pseudo Yoik” or “El Hambo.” “Ave Maria” shows another compositional voice in a striking and introspective setting of this traditional antiphon. The piece opens with women independently speaking the text themselves, and is layered with the “Ave Maria” chanted by tenors over a hummed pedal point sung by basses and baritones. Gradually all men take on the chant in a quasi-organum setting, and the work concludes with women speaking the text together in a final communal prayer. This piece, while simple to prepare, is extremely effective in performance and lends itself to spatial presentation.