Sergei Rachmaninoff, Bogoroditse Devo (Ave Maria), Chór Akademicki of the University of Warsaw, directed by Irina Bogdanovich (2003).
These days my Sunday theme is getting to be, “Hey, I didn’t know (insert name of classical composer here) wrote sacred music!” Rachmaninoff has never been my thing particularly, but even so, I didn’t know he did any version of Ave Maria, let alone this mind-blowing one.
I first intended to go with the following interpretation (in Latin) by the Schola Cantorum at St. Joseph Seminary College in St. Benedict, LA (2007). But the purist Youtube commentators said OK, nice, but you got to hear it in the Slavonic language and with the original mixed choir. Hence the version above. But this one has punch, and better recording quality. So I’m going with both.