Ave Maria D.839
Franz Schubert

242

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The second of Schubert's 7 entries in the Ultimate Hall of Fame. This has appeared in every chart apart from in 1998 and it reached its highest position of 186 in 2011.

It's a beautiful irony that the nation's favourite settings of the Ave Maria are composed by Bach and Schubert, yet neither of them actually wrote an Ave Maria. Schubert's music was actually written to the words of The Lady of the Lake, by Sir Walter Scott but translated into German and called Ellen's Third song. It was written as part of a set of Scott songs when the composer was twenty-eight and contains the words 'Ave Maria', but only in reference to the prayer itself.

The Annunciation by Fra Angelico (c. 1430).