Ellens dritter Gesang (Ellens Gesang III, D.839, Op.
52, No. 6, 1825), in English: "Ellen's Third Song", was
composed by Franz Schubert in 1825 as part of his Opus
52, a setting of seven songs from Walter Scott's
popular epic poem The Lady of the Lake, loosely
translated into German.
It has become one of Schubert's most popular works
under the title of Ave Maria, in arrangements with
various lyrics which commonly differ from the original
context of the poem.
Schubert's arrangement is said to have first been
performed at the castle of Countess Sophie Weissenwolff
in the little Austrian town of Steyregg and dedicated
to her, which led to her becoming known as "the lady of
the lake" herself.
The opening words and refrain of Ellen's song, namely
"Ave Maria" (Latin, "Hail Mary"), may have led to the
idea of adapting Schubert's melody as a setting for the
full text of the traditional Roman Catholic prayer Ave
Maria. The Latin version of the Ave Maria is now so
frequently used with Schubert's melody that it has led
to the misconception that he originally wrote the
melody as a setting for the Ave Maria.
I transcribed this piece for Viola & Concert (Pedal)