Ave Maria (Holst)

From Wind Repertory Project
Gustav Holst

Gustav Holst (trans. David C. Woodley)

This article is a stub. If you can help add information to it,
please join the WRP and visit the FAQ (left sidebar) for information.

This work bears the designation Opus 9b.

General Info

Year: 1900 /
Duration: c. 4:40
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Female Chorus
Publisher: Unknown
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown


(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

One of the few early works of Holst to survive his scrupulous self-criticism is an unassuming setting of the Ave Maria for eight-part female chorus. Completed in 1900, shortly after he abruptly left the Royal College of Music, the composition is dedicated to the memory of his mother, Clara Lediard Holst, who died when he was a child.

Largely self-taught as a composer, this early devotional setting noticeably reflects Holst’s multifaceted personality by simultaneously combining clarity of expression with romantic exuberance. Scored for eight independent parts, the music skillfully combines modal and tonal harmonies to produce a setting that sounds both ancient and modern. Smoothly flowing counterpoint creates harmonies of varying intensity and colour, as the chorus is frequently divided into smaller units. In effect, this subdivision creates two independent choruses that musically respond to the demands of the text.

This prophetic little jewel clearly points to his later musical accomplishments, as it is breaking away from the heavy chromaticism of Wagner. Simultaneously, it rejects the austerity of Victorian church music by using dissonances within a diatonic harmony with much greater freedom.

- Program Note from Interlude


(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Indiana University (Bloomington) Wind Ensemble (Rodney Dorsey, conductor) – 8 November 2022
  • Indiana University (Bloomington) Wind Ensemble (David C. Woodley, conductor) – 26 March 2019

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Music