December 8th is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, so, some Marian music seemed required!
Jacques Arcadelt (also Jacob Arcadelt; c.?1507 – 14 October 1568) was a Franco-Flemish composer of the Renaissance, active in both Italy and France, and principally known as a composer of secular vocal music. Although he also wrote sacred vocal music, he was one of the most famous of the early composers of madrigals; his first book of madrigals, published within a decade of the appearance of the earliest examples of the form, was the most widely printed collection of madrigals of the entire era. Later composers considered Arcadelt's style to represent an ideal; later reprints of his first madrigal book were often used for teaching, with reprints appearing more than a century after its original publication.
His motet, "Ave Maria" is probably his most famous liturgical work, and because of its relative "simplicity," it is a favorite of "lesser choirs," often resulting in less than optimum performances.
The piece was obviously a favorite of Franz Liszt's (1811-1886), as he personally arranged this work for organ. The organ arrangement features all of the "thematic material," but other features the quiet ringing of the angelus bell at the start ("wie fernes Glockengeläute") is not part of the original vocal work.
It is a happy and innocent work, which seems to depict a county May day procession, where the village children crown a statue of the Madonna, signifying Mary as Queen of heaven.
The vast acoustics of Esztergom add to the "ethereal effect", and I've avoided things like Swell strings, using instead the Flutes 8' 4' & 2' to enhance the bell effect.
If you want to hear a GOOD performance of the vocal motet, here is a nice one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_j3cx5q_a_4
The organ score is attached.