for SSA unaccompanied This is the second and most intimate of the composer's 'Three Latin Motets'. Scored for upper voices, this gentle supplication to the Virgin is built on a plainchant opening, and contains expressive dissonances and suspensions in a setting of great purity and directness. Ave Maria has been recorded by the renowned American choir, the Phoenix Chorale, and released on a Grammy award-winning CD by Chandos (Spotless Rose CHSA 5066) .
Cecilia McDowall (b.1951)
"In her Ave Maria Cecilia McDowall reminds us that the text is that of The Angelic Salutation, but the note is rendered unnecessary by the beautiful and haunting three- part writing . . . The overall effect is magical, though - a good, echoing stone venue is required." - Music Teacher November 06
"Cecilia McDowall may not be a familiar name to everyone, but several of her quietly accomplished choral works have now appeared in print, including here a SATB Ave Regina and a SSA Ave Maria, both from 2004, each made with the same clarity of structure and judicious, expressive use of dissonance." - Matthew Greenall, The Singer Oct 06
"Writing for SSA only, McDowall makes a virtue of carefully placed
repetitions. In the Ave Regina it is the appoggiaturas that recur; here it is a pair of laddering motifs, the one rising in close harmony quavers, the other cascading down in chains of suspensions. Once again, sensitivity to the words - their passion, their dignity, and their metrical quantities - is faultless." - Choir & Organ 2006