This is my 34th entry in the Lenten Hymn-of-the-Day project, although this "hymn" is not really a hymn, and it has nothing to do with Lent!
Today, March 25th is the very important feast of the Annunciation - the day where we commemorate the angel Gabriel paying his visit to Mary to announce to her that she will be the mother of Jesus.
Both the words and melody come from a 15th century Hunterian manuscript. While this adaptation by Carl P. Daw, Jr. (b. 1944) is a bit modern for my taste, it's not at all bad.
The melody, which could have been sung alone or accompanied by any number and sort of instruments, is here harmonized by Jack W. Burnam (b. 1946), and adapted freely by me.
The format of the performance I've done is this: brief QUIET introduction of the Burden, the Burden "sung" once by the "cantor", then repeated by ALL. ALL are "singing" when you hear the louder harmonized refrain.
Gabriel's part is "sung" on the Positif with fonds and mixture, and Mary's part "sung" quietly on the Recit.
I added an extra "repeat" of the Burden at the end... ;-)
Ave fit ex Eva."
Gabriel from high dgree,
He came down from Trinity,
To Nazareth in Galilee.
He met a maiden in that place;
There he knelt before her face
And said, "Hail, Mary, full of grace."
When the maiden heard his song,
She was filled with confusion strong
And feared that she had done a wrong.
Said the angel, "Have no fear;
By comception without compare
The Savior Jesus shall you bear."
"There are yet but six months gone
Since Elizabeth conceiv-ed John,
To be the herald of God's Son."
Said the maiden, "Verily,
I am your servant right truly,
The handmaid of the Lord now see."
The text of the refrain, or "burden" is it is more properly called is "Nova, nova, Ave fit ex Eva," which means, "News, news! Hail (Ave) is made out of Eva (Eve)." It's a little trick on words as Ave turned backwards is Eva, as if to say that from the sin of Eve we reach the ultimate purity in Mary.