Song of Songs (2009)

de Victoria, Anonymous, Guerrero, de Vivanco, Palestrina, de Ceballos, l' Heritier, de Lassus, Gombert, Papa

Stile Antico

What is the Song of Songs? Why is it in the Bible? And why did it gain such popularity amongst Continental composers of polyphony in the sixteenth century? In short, it is a love poem (or perhaps a collection of poems), ascribed to King Solomon, who reigned over Israel between 971 and 931 BC, and after whom the work is sometimes named. The beautiful and often erotic poetry tells of the relationship between the lover and his beloved, traditionally thought to be Solomon and a Shulamite girl. It speaks in colourful and poetic terms of the joys, delights, and the sorrows of their relationship, as well as relating the girl’s dialogue with the young Israelite girls around her. Above all, it consists in rich expression of the love of one for the other, in all its facets.
For many the literal sense of the book alone has not been considered sufficient grounds to merit its place in the canon of holy writ (in spite of the fact that it contains inspiration and wisdom for many an aspiring couple!). Surely it must have a yet more profound meaning! The most established tradition of interpretation reads the relationship between the lover and his beloved as an allegory for the covenant relationship between God and his people. It is a long tradition: as early as the first half of the first century BC Jewish interpreters understood the book as an allegorical account of God’s dealings with Israel; Christian commentators from the early Fathers onwards have continued this tradition, seeing it as referring to the relationship between Christ and his Church, or Christ and the Soul. Such a reading is supported by similar allegories used elsewhere in both the Old and New Testaments. 
Yet the surge in the book’s popularity in medieval times, and the resulting proliferation of musical settings, often revolved around the practice of Marian devotion. The so-called ‘Marian interpretation’ of the Song of Songs has sometimes been misunderstood: it is not that the beloved of the poem has ever been seriously understood to refer exclusively to Mary – but rather that, if Mary is revered as the church’s most perfect flowering (as she often was in medieval times), then the poem is about her inasmuch as she ‘represents’ the Church. It is for this reason that the poem was adopted (and often adapted) for use in various medieval Marian liturgies, and seen as prophetic in justifying certain Marian doctrines.

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Stile Antico

stile antico is an ensemble of young British singers, now established as one of the most original and exciting voices in its field. Much in demand in concert, the group performs regularly throughout Europe and North America. Their recordings on the harmonia mundi label have enjoyed great success, winning awards including the Diapason d’or de l’anne?e and the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik, and have twice attracted Grammy® nominations. Their release Song of Songs won the 2009 Gramophone Award for Early Music and reached the top of the Billboard® Classical Chart.

Working without a conductor, the members of stile antico rehearse and perform as chamber musicians, each contributing artistically to the musical result. Their performances have repeatedly been praised for their vitality and commitment, expressive lucidity and imaginative response to text. Stile Antico’s recent engagements include debuts at the BBC Proms, London’s Wigmore and Cadogan Halls, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, early music festivals in Boston, Bruges, Barcelona and Utrecht, and at the Cervantino Festival in Mexico. The group has toured extensively with Sting, appearing across Europe, Australia and the Far East as part of his Dowland project Songs from the Labyrinth, and is regularly invited to lead courses at Dartington International Summer School.

 

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Song of Songs (2009)

de Victoria, Anonymous, Guerrero, de Vivanco, Palestrina, de Ceballos, l' Heritier, de Lassus, Gombert, Papa

Stile Antico

Mastering Engineer: Brad Michel
Producer: Robina G. Young
Recording Engineer: Brad Michel
Recording location: St. Jude on the Hill, Hampstead Garden London
Recording Software: Pyramix
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64

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807489DI: Song of Songs
01:17:28   Select quality & channels above
Tracks.
1.
Egos flos campi
Papa
00:06:05   Select quality & channels above
2.
Osculetur me
Palestrina
00:03:23   Select quality & channels above
3.
Antiphon - Dum esset rex
Anonymous
00:00:43   Select quality & channels above
4.
Surge, propera amica mea
Guerrero
00:06:07   Select quality & channels above
5.
Quam pulchra es
Gombert
00:06:10   Select quality & channels above
6.
Antiphon - Nigra sum
Anonymous
00:00:40   Select quality & channels above
7.
Veni, dilecte mi
de Lassus
00:04:19   Select quality & channels above
8.
Vadam et circuibo
de Victoria
00:10:41   Select quality & channels above
9.
Alleluia - Tota pulchra es
Anonymous
00:02:40   Select quality & channels above
10.
Ego flos campi
Guerrero
00:03:17   Select quality & channels above
11.
Nigra sum
l' Heritier
00:05:33   Select quality & channels above
12.
Antiphon - Laeva eius
Anonymous
00:00:37   Select quality & channels above
13.
Hortus conclusus
de Ceballos
00:05:32   Select quality & channels above
14.
Nigra sum
Palestrina
00:03:57   Select quality & channels above
15.
Antiphon - Speciosa facta es
Anonymous
00:00:42   Select quality & channels above
16.
Veni, dilecte mi
de Vivanco
00:04:21   Select quality & channels above
17.
Trahe me post te
Guerrero
00:05:15   Select quality & channels above
18.
Antiphon - lam hiems transiit
Anonymous
00:00:48   Select quality & channels above
19.
Vidi speciosam
de Victoria
00:06:38   Select quality & channels above

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