Skip to Content


Song of Songs

The Independent relishes Song of Songs

Andy Gill, The Independent (29 May, 2009)

The Song Of Songs, King Solomon’s poetic meditation on love, has become choral music’s soul equivalent, poised on the cusp of sacred and secular interpretations of the nature of Solomon’s desire.

And despite the celibate church’s long dominance in this matter, it remains hard to regard lascivious lines like “Your lips drip nectar; honey and milk are under your tongue” as allegories of God’s sacred inclinations. Sumptuously delivered by the peerless Stile Antico, the verses are set to melodies by the likes of Palestrina, Gombert and Guerrero. The standout piece is Tómas Luis De Victoria’s epic motet “Vadam et circuibo”, a masterpiece of polychoral ingenuity.