Soprano surprises train station with a breathtaking performance of Schubert’s ‘Ave Maria’

8 July 2021, 17:22

‘Ave Maria’ in a train station
‘Ave Maria’ in a train station. Picture: YouTube / Pien van Gerven

By Kyle Macdonald

One of classical music’s greatest melodies and a moment of peace among the busyness of the day.

Watch the beautiful moment when the bustle of a Dutch train station was brought to a standstill by the beauty of the human voice.

In the 2015 video, filmed in the city of Nijmegen in the Netherlands, a solo soprano soars with Franz Schubert’s music and the sacred text Ave Maria. The voice belongs to soprano Pien van Gerven, who is accompanied by pianist Raquel Garzás García-Pliego.

García-Pliego plays one of the city’s public pianos, situated at the station.

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And thanks to videographer Paul Maas, we can see the moment passersby encountered Schubert’s music. Watch it below:

It’s a reminder of the timeless beauty of Schubert, and music’s power to cut through whatever may be occupying us on a busy day.

Schubert originally composed this piece not as a sacred song, but as a musical setting of Walter Scott’s narrative poem The Lady of the Lake. This music comes as the epic’s heroine, Ellen Douglas, sings a prayer to the Virgin Mary titled Ellens dritter Gesang.

After the piece was published, Schubert’s music was set to the full text of the Ave Maria and it took the form beloved today.