Zdrowaś Maryjo – Mater Dolorosa (2008)

Ave Maria No. 4 (in Polish) for voice and piano (versions for high and medium voice):

Duration: ca. 5 minutes

Premiere: 12.12.2008, Tim Bruno, bass-baritone and Kevin Bylsma, piano, Bowling Green, OH

Program notes: Zdrowaś Maryjo, Mater Dolorosa (2008) is my fourth annual Ave Maria since I began my fifty-year project in 2005. In each of these, I try to portray one of the many key attributes of the Mother of God. In this Polish translation of the original Latin, I explore the suffering side of Mary who suffered as her Son was beaten, mocked, spit on, and crucified that all might be saved. “And a sword shall pierce your own soul” (Lk 2:35) was Simeon’s prophesy to the Virgin, and so it was. In a particular way I looked to her title of Our Lady of Częstochowa, or the “Black Madonna” as inspiration for this year’s Ave Maria. Under these titles, Mary has accompanied the Polish—a people that has known great suffering throughout its various phases of history—for several centuries. But Mary also shows that suffering is meaningful and redemptive, and that the human person can still have joy and freedom in the midst of suffering.

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Listen to Zdrowaś Maryjo, Mater Dolorosa via youtube below: