Pierre-Louis Dietsch (1808 – 1865) was a French
composer and conductor, perhaps best remembered for the
much anthologized Ave Maria 'by' Jacques Arcadelt,
which he loosely arranged from that composer's three
part madrigal Nous voyons que les hommes.
He was born Pierre-Louis-Philippe Dietsch in Dijon.
Fétis has reported that Dietsch was a choirboy at the
Dijon Cathedral, and beginning in 1822 studied at
Choron's Institution Royale de Musique Classique et
Religieuse in Paris. Later, after 1853, Dietsch was a
teacher at the Ecole Niedermeyer (successor of Choron's
Institution), a position he held up until his death. In
1830 Dietsch entered the Paris conservatory and studied
with Anton Reicha. His subjects included double bass
and counterpoint (with Reicha).
Dietsch composed church music as well as an opera Le
vaisseau fantôme, ou Le maudit des mers ("The Fantom
Ship, or The Accursed of the Sea"), which was first
performed on 9 November 1842 at the Paris Opera. The
libretto by Paul Foucher and H. Révoil was based on
Walter Scott's The Pirate as well as Captain Marryat's
The Phantom Ship and other sources, although Wagner
thought it was based on his scenario for Der fliegende
Holländer, which he had just sold to the Opera. The
similarity of Dietsch's opera to Wagner's is slight,
although Wagner's assertion is often repeated. Berlioz
thought Le vaisseau fantôme too solemn, but other
reviewers were more favourable.
This setting of "Ave Maria" is not by Jacques Arcadelt.
It is an arrangement by Louis Dietsch (1808-1865) of
Arcadelt's "nous voyons que les hommes", written for
female voices. The bass part in particular is entirely
Although this work was originally written for Chorus
(SATB), I created this arrangement for Solo Acoustic