Canticum Canticorum Salomonis is a choral composition by Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki. It was finished in 1973.
The composition was commissioned by the Gulbenkian Foundation and took Penderecki from 1970 to 1973 to finish it. It was premiered in Lisbon on June 5, 1973. Werner Andreas Albert conducted the Gulbenkian Orchestra and Les Percussions de Strasbourg, together with the NCRV Vocal Ensemble, which considered the composition too difficult to be performed.It is dedicated to Emil Breisach and was published by the Polish Music Publishing House and Schott Music.
The composition, which is in one movement, takes approximately 16 minutes to perform, and uses an erotic text which is extracted from the Song of Songs.It is scored for a 16-voice choir and orchestra.
Following is the complete text used in the composition:
(Sponsa, Song of Solomon1:1-2,12)
(Sponsus, Song of Solomon1:14)
(Sponsa, Song of Solomon1:15, Song of Solomon2:4-6)
(Sponsus, Song of Solomon2:7)
(Sponsa, Song of Solomon2:8-9)
(Sponsus, Song of Solomon2:10-11,13–14)
The composition received mixed opinions by critics. Opinions from Polish critics ranged from "one of the best of Penderecki's works", by Malinowski and Michałowski,and "colorful, subtle, elegant, and expressively discreet", by Zielinski, to remarks by Kaczynzki, who deplored the low dynamism of the composition and stated that the composition "deserved a warmer welcome, despite the incoherence of its texts". Polish critic Marian Fuks described the musical style of the work as "lukewarm".
Krzysztof Eugeniusz Penderecki was a Polish composer and conductor. Among his best known works are Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima, Symphony No. 3, his St. Luke Passion, Polish Requiem, Anaklasis and Utrenja. Penderecki composed four operas, eight symphonies and other orchestral pieces, a variety of instrumental concertos, choral settings of mainly religious texts, as well as chamber and instrumental works.
Ivan Moody is an Anglo-Portuguese composer born in London, England in 1964. He studied composition with at London University, York University and privately with John Tavener. He also studied Orthodox theology at the University of Joensuu in Finland. Moody is active as a conductor, having directed ensembles such as Voces Angelicae, the Kastalsky Chamber Choir, Capilla Peña Florida (Spain), Cappella Romana, the Choir of the Cathedral of St George, Novi Sad, (Serbia) the KotorArt Festival Choir (Montenegro), the Orthodox Choir of the University of Joensuu (Finland) and Ensemble Alpha (Portugal); and as a widely published musicologist. His research interests include the music of Eastern Europe, especially 20th century and contemporary music from Russia and the Balkans, the music of the Orthodox Church in the modern era, music and spirituality, music as theology, Serbian church music, the aesthetics of modernism and post-modernism and their intersection with Orthodox church music and the musical culture of the Mediterranean.
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