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Ave Maria

COVERED BY ELVIS

Ave Maria

recording date elvis: august ( 1970 ) ; concert
first release:



originally by: W.D. McFarland

recording year: 1898
originally written by: bach;bernard;gounod
catalognumber:
label:




Paul Bernard and Charles Gounod used Luke 1:28 as the inspiration for "Ave Maria" in 1859, adapting the words to J.S. Bach's First prelude. According to the Discography of American Historical Recordings, McFarland's version of "Ave Maria" was recorded in November 1898 and released as a 7" single-sided disc on Berliner 1917. M.A. Guarini's recording of the same title probably took place at about the same time, but I have been unable to find a date. His version of "Ave Maria" was released as a cylinder early in 1899 on Edison Records 7287. 1899 saw another recording of the song by Helen Jenynge, made on 7 March and released on Berliner 3676. Interestingly, Alessandro Moreschi (apparently a somewhat physically challenged singer, known as The Last Castrato...) recorded the number on a cylinder in 1902 (Opal 5477).
But note the question-mark next to the composers. There's a problem, for Franz Schubert also composed a number called "Ave Maria" and this in 1825. Well, to be honest, it wasn't called "Ave Maria" at the time, but saw the light of day as "Ellens dritter Gesang" or "Ellens Third Song" and was part of seven songs that he wrote as a setting for Walter Scott's then popular poem, "The Lady Of The Lake." The tune was later adopted to accompany the words of the Roman Catholic prayer, "Ave Maria."
Elvis used the song in an unusual medley with "I Got A Woman" in the International Hotel, Las Vegas, during some of the shows of his 1970 summer season there. (The number has appeared on several unofficial releases containing audience recordings of various performances; I offer just one example). But just whose song he used is unclear, as (at least on the LP "The Hillbilly Cat Live" and on the CD example above) he sings little more than "Ave Mari…" (the first three or four syllables of both songs).


Ave Maria
performed by:
M.A. Guarini

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Ave Maria
performed by:
Elvis Presley

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