Today, March 25th, is the Feast of the Annunciation.
It commemorates the visit of the archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary, during which he informed her that she would be the mother of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Jesús Guridi Bidaola (25 September 1886 – 7 April 1961) was a Spanish Basque composer who was a key player in 20th-century Spanish and Basque music. His style fits into the late Romantic idiom, directly inherited from Wagner, and with a strong influence from Basque culture. Among his best-known works are the zarzuela El Caserío, the opera Amaya, the orchestral work Ten Basque Melodies and his organ works, where the Triptych of the Good Shepherd can be highlighted.
Strongly influenced by Richard Wagner and other late-Romantic musicians, he found inspiration in the roots of Basque folklore in his first scores, and which later give body and soul to his compositions. Guridi produced copiously in a huge range of genres.
Despite his intense activity as an organist, choir director and teacher, Guridi was largely devoted to composition. The variety of genres he cultivated is very wide, ranging from symphonic music to film music, operas and operettas, chamber music, choral music, songs and music for children.
Guridi's music writing is characterized by the clarity of its formal organization, by the strength and richness of its harmony and the inspiration of the melodies. He was one of the main creators of the musical nationalism in Euskadi and Spain.
"Ave Maria" is quite original and very striking. It combines elements of a rustic, country-like celebration of the Holy Day, as well as a grander, "big church feel" in a section with some very fine harmonies.
It's a bit fussy to do, but I do like the piece, and hope my listeners will as well.
His organ works are recognized as significant, although I confess that I have never heard of him before.
The score is attached below, as well as photos of Giurdi, and one of Fra Angelico's "Annunciation".