Ave verum corpus – Edward Elgar (1857-1934)
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Edward Elgar’s early years were spent in the English cathedral city of Worchester. He felt himself to be an outsider, not only musically, but socially. In musical circles dominated by academics, he was a self-taught composer; in Anglican Britain, his Roman Catholicism was regarded with suspicion in some quarters.
Ave Verum Corpus, the first of his Three Motets, Op. 2, was first sketched in 1887 as a brief setting of Pie Jesu, in memory of the death of his friend William Allen. Elgar revised the work in 1902, changing the text to the present Ave verum, and completed the set of three choral works in 1906 by adding settings of Ave Mariaand Ave Maris Stella.