Song of Songs for 18 voices, opus 67, is a vocal setting in five movements by Andrew Schultz, with text by Barry Hill, commissioned by The Song Company and ABC The Listening Room for the Song Company’s 20th Anniversary in 2004. The work was premiered by The Song Company conducted by Roland Peelman at the Sydney Opera House in May 2004. It was written for six live solo voices and 12 pre-recorded voices with percussion and prepared piano.
Barry Hill’s poetry for the Song of Songs takes the original biblical text attributed to King Solomon and brings it into the contemporary domain. The text has lavish descriptions of eroticism, sensual beauty and verdant nature.
The Song Company released a compact disc of the work on their SongWorks label with two other works by Andrew Schultz, Wild Flower and Ekstasis. As that recording is now out of print, this digital release of Song of Songs by Sedition makes the work available again for digital download and streaming. The recording is available for download on all major digital platforms including iTunes and Amazon and for streaming on all major platforms including Spotify and Apple Music.
“Schultz’s textures vary from the iridescent, closely voiced tonal harmonies of the first song, Enchantment, to antiphonal dialogues between the live voices and their shadows to the words “feed me” in the third movement, Feasting, to florid decoration over static harmonies as though in a static transcendent mind-state and tumbling erotic climaxes.” [Sydney Morning Herald.] Read more reviews of the work.
Synopsis — Song of Songs
Proclamations and warnings. A scene by the city wall, near a vineyard. The tang of wine-press and of smoke is in the air. The mental atmosphere is of ripeness and ruin.
“Before the dawn wind rises
Before the shadows flee –
That I no more shall see you
The harvest pressed as one –
Return! Return! Be like a gazelle on the mountains of the dead.”
A closed garden, a pool, a lattice. She is looking through the lattice as he prepares to bath. Each know the other is being admired.
“Rise my love
loveliest woman come
winter is done – the rains are over – our lands are blooming”
A bed near the banquet table. In a room with walls and ceiling lined by oiled cedar.
“O feed me”
A bedroom, city streets, bedroom. Lost and reunited.
“I hardly know myself”
- Love as strong as death
We are back on the darkening plain, outside the city walls.
“He has sealed me to his heart
I am a band upon his arm
Love is as strong as death.”
||Song of Songs
||The Song Company
||20 August 2019
||Classical & Vocal