Yesterday, December 8th was the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, the day when Mary is honored "in the first instance of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace granted by God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin."
Since yesterday was a Sunday, the feast is transferred to the next day.
During the season of Advent, we also think of the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel visits Mary, telling her is to be the mother of Jesus.
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. 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 score is attached below, as well as a painting of Arcadelt, a photo of Liszt, and famous art forms depicting both the Immaculate Conception and the Annunciation.