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  • Writer's pictureFr. Scott Haynes

Ave Verum, Francis Poulenc

Rev. Scott A. Haynes

About the Text

The Eucharistic text, Ave verum corpus, has been set to music by many composers. It dates to the 13th century. A Reichenau manuscript of the 14th century attributes it to Pope Innocent. During the Middle Ages it was often sung at the elevation of the Eucharist during the consecration at Mass. It was also used frequently during Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

The Composer

Francis Jean Marcel Poulenc (1899 – 1963) was a French composer and pianist. His compositions include songs, solo piano works, chamber music, choral pieces, operas, ballets, and orchestral concert music. Among his finest works are his Organ Concerto (1938), the opera Dialogues des Carmélites (1957), and the Gloria (1959) for soprano, choir and orchestra. Among his sacred choral music, Ave verum for SSA choir is a gem.


This recording of the Paradisum Epsom Girls' Grammar School Choir was conducted by Virginia Le Cren as a part of "The Big Sing" (August 13-15, 2015) at the Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington New Zealand.


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