Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 37 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website


Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 
 
 

 

 

[Valid RSS]

click to go to advertisers website
Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, October 28, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 43
Canticum Canticorum as dazzling as it is ravishing
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
  next story
Canticum Canticorum as dazzling as it is ravishing

by Adam Ross - SGN Contributing Writer

Les Voix Baroques' Canticum Canticorum
October 22
Daniels Hall


The Song of Songs (also known as the 'Song of Solomon,' the 'Canticum Canticorum' in Latin) has always been the outlier of the various texts in the Bible. It is a suite of ancient Hebrew love poetry masquerading as a sacred text. Naturally, composers of sacred music over the centuries have been drawn to setting sections of this text given the dramatic and sensuous images - and often naughty connotations - in the words, and which the composers sometimes reflect into the music itself.

Essentially duplicating their exquisitely produced CD of the same name, the Canadian-based early music ensemble Les Voix Baroques performed a suite of settings of the Song of Songs, beginning with settings from the late Renaissance by Roland de Lassus and Heinrich Schütz, and sweeping all the way into the 20th century with English settings by Canadian composer Healey Willan and Englishman William Walton. The six singers in the ensemble were accompanied by an assortment of instruments - several strings, harp, lute, guitar, and organ, led by resident early music director and musician Stephen Stubbs.

While it is a pleasure to have Daniels Hall (the former United Methodist Church on 5th Avenue, saved from the wrecking ball) used to house early music concerts after the Early Music Guild vacated the space for Town Hall several years ago, it's not really an ideal acoustic for small singing ensembles. It is easy for voices to be lost in the cavernous space, and even the carpets seem to muffle vocal sounds - it takes real effort for singers to project adequately and with musicality in this space. Happily, the singers were able to do just that, both in their ensemble and solo performances. Kudos must be given to the whole ensemble, but in particular the sopranos: Catherine Webster, for her firm and passionate tone, and Clara Rottsolk, who filled in on short notice for another singer who was indisposed, and who impressed with her clear, light tone that nevertheless rang out through the hall. The young bass-baritone Douglas Williams also impressed with his powerful yet flexible instrument.

The music itself was a diverse potpourri of styles, and much of the lyrics were potentially eyebrow-raising as well. Lassus' five-voice Renaissance style 'Veni in hortum meum' was lush and sensuous, as befitting the double entendre in the title. The early Baroque setting of 'Anima mea liquefacta est' by Schütz for two dueting tenors, is ripe for exploitation for its potential homoerotic implications of two young men singing back and forth to each other. Other composers took liberties with the text - Danish Baroque composer Dietrich Buxtehude in his setting of 'Ad latus/Surge amica mea,' (extracted from his cantata 'Membra Jesu Nostri') by interspersing lines from the Song of Songs with ruminations on the bleeding side of the crucified Jesus, creates essentially a musical fetishizing of his broken body. Even the musical interlude for harp and lute - an instrumental arrangement of the final duet between the evil lovers Nero and Poppea from Monteverdi's study of immoral love 'L'incoronazione di Poppea,' echoed the juxtaposition of the transcendent and the prurient.

However, the music performed was so ravishing, it was easy to look past the more salacious or macabre aspects of the words being sung. While everything was performed with passion and dedication, this reviewer must single out Walton's beautiful wedding-motet 'Set Me as a Seal Upon Thine Heart,' as well as the gorgeous, if little-known, Willan settings. Johann Christoph Bach's German setting of a Song of Songs text was unusual in its kaleidoscopic use of solo voices that each followed one another, the effect was as dazzling as it was ravishing. Bravi to all involved, particularly to Stephen Stubbs for his sensitive direction the ensemble and for creating Pacific MusicWorks and sponsoring another terrific early music series in Seattle.

Tell a friend:

Share on Facebook  Share on Facebook

Post to MySpace!Share on MySpace!

    Share on Delicious

Share on StumbleUpon!

Robyn, kinetic star at City Arts Fest
------------------------------
SGN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Joan Rivers, the ultimate comedienne
------------------------------
Lily Armani invites fans to Show & Tell
------------------------------
SGN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Carolee Carmello, Saving Aimee star
------------------------------
High-energy Saving Aimee expects sellouts for final shows
------------------------------
A Dyke About Town: Jazz Crusaders, wonderful mellow jazz
------------------------------
Journey and Foreigner rekindle memories for thousands
------------------------------
Portishead resurfaces with stirring performance
------------------------------

------------------------------
Rick Santorum: Apologize To Gay Soldiers!
------------------------------
Morgan McMichaels dishes on RuPaul fame and hot Halloween party
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
Q-Scopes by Jack Fertig
------------------------------

------------------------------
The End, The Mountain announce exciting holiday show lineups
------------------------------
Northwest News
------------------------------
Letters
------------------------------
A darker Dream at Seattle Shakespeare
------------------------------
Canticum Canticorum as dazzling as it is ravishing
------------------------------
Lord of the Rings' great sound overshadows onscreen action
------------------------------
Carolee Carmello is what's Saving Aimee
------------------------------
Young pianist and an improved Carmen
------------------------------
Concert opinions test limits of friendship
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
Seattle Gay Blog post your own information on
the Seattle Gay Blog
 

gay news feeds gay news readers gay rss gay
http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml

Seattle Gay News - SGN
1605 12 Ave., Ste. 31
Seattle, WA 98122

Phone 206-324-4297
Fax 206-322-7188

email: sgn2@sgn.org
website suggestions: web@sgn.org

copyright Seattle Gay News - DigitalTeamWorks 2011

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News
Pacific Northwest News in Seattle News in Washington State News