12 x 16 inches, oil on canvas paper, 2017
Sunday, April 9, 2017
Penderecki once more
The third Penderecki composition in this year's list and the second from The Song of Songs album listens to the title Canticum Canticorum Salomonis (also known as The Song of Solomon or The Song of Songs) and fills all of side A. Penderecki conducts the Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra and the Krakow Philharmonic Chorus. The chorus consists of eight male and eight female voices, each with a soloistic part. Canticum Canticorum Salomonis is considered one of Penderecki's "finest works, notable for its subdued strength of expression." The Song of Songs is a favorite subject of many artists and composers throughout history for its unusual celebration of sexual love in the bible, which in the Christian Old Testament is seen as an allegory for Christ and His Bride, the Christian Church. In the Hebrew Bible this would be the relationship between God and Israel. It is also a prominent text in the mystical Kabbalah in which The Song of Solomon's esoteric interpretation of the Hebrew Bible is overtly erotic. The texts are (falsely) contributed to the legendary King Solomon.