Yale Collection of Musical Instruments presents
ta p e s t ry in
Song of Songs: come into my garden
Cristi Catt, soprano Laurie Monahan, mezzo-soprano Daniela Tosic, mezzo-soprano Diana Brewer, soprano, vielle and sackbut Mehmet Ali Sanl覺kol, duduk, ud, ney Takaaki Masuko, percussion 15 Hillhouse Avenue New Haven Sunday 13 April 2014 3:00 P.M.
cover image: Debra Band Song of Songs, Illumination 9
Yale Collection of Musical Instruments presents
ta p e s t ry in
This concert is made possible by the generous support of the Associate Members of the Collection.
song of songs: come into my garden Song of Songs 1:1-4 Hebrew Cantillation (Shir Hashirim) William Sharlin (b. 1920) Shir Hashirim Sephardic instrumental Yo m’asento Worcester Antiphonaire (13th c.) Rex Salomon Song of Songs 2:7, 3:6-8 Wienhauser Liederbuch (14th c.) Song of Songs 2:8-10 Ivan Moody (b. 1964)
Hebrew Cantillation (Hishbati Etchem) Dilectus Meus Hebrew Cantillation (Kol Dodi) Instrumental Improvisation Canticum Canticorum: Three Motets from the Song of Songs
INTERVAL Lavtacı Andon (d. 1925) Hüseyni Saz Semaisi David Lang (b. 1957) I lie St. Martial Repertory (12th c.) Osculetur me Traditional Israeli song Dodi li Sephardic instrumental Una Matica de Ruda arr. based on setting Set me as a Seal upon Thy Heart by Max Helfman Matt Frier will be attending this afternoon’s performance to photograph the artists and audience for archival and publicity purposes. This concert is being recorded and streamed live over the Internet; please turn off all cell phones and pagers.
Spanish Villancico, 16th c. Ottomon Sephardic Song Stu Hacohen Popular Israeli Song
Si la noche La Rosa enfloresse Rumba Blanca is Erev shel shoshanim
About the Program What does it mean to hear the “Song of Songs”? On its face, the Song is alternately a richly elaborated compendium of figurative language and an exquisitely sensual portrait of love between a young woman and a young man, set in Jerusalem and its environs in the flush of springtime. Yet the meaning of this text has varied widely in its long and continuing history as a vital work of scripture and literature. The Hebrew, which dates its present form to the third century B.C., has antecedents far older, including prewedding festivities, and although the Song is associated with nuptials, its role in the Hebrew is not so confined. And while the holiness of the Song is undisputed in Jewish and Christian theologies, its significance in the scriptures – this book that does not even mention God – is sometimes obscure. Talmudic and medieval interpretations (both Jewish and Christian) of the Song speak in symbolic language that seems far removed from the world of erotic love which the Song evokes for many modern readers. But these allegorical interpretations do not ignore or contradict the romantic ardor of the text. Rather, they incorporate that passion into their explicitly spiritual visions. Thus, in the eleventh century, Rashi (acronym for Rav Shlomo ben Yitzchak [b. Troyes, France 1040, d. 1105] a rabbinic commentator on the Bible and Talmud) explicated the Song as a minutely detailed allegory for the love of God and the people of Israel. In Rashi’s reading, for example, the twin gazelles to which the breasts of the beloved are likened become twin leaders of Israel: Moses and Aaron. Meanwhile, in Christian theology, two primary strains of allegorical interpretation predominated in the Middle Ages: the love of Christ for the Church, and the longing of the worshiper’s spirit for God, with this latter reading also incorporated into the barely suffused sensuality of the late medieval Marian cult. As much as the medieval readings of the Song of Songs differ from our current perspective, they were not seen or understood as “forced” or “unnatural” interpretations. On the contrary, these symbolic modes of exegesis were every bit as natural to the medieval reader as the contemporary preoccupation with “original” meaning and “authentic” interpretation is to us. The language, musical and verbal, of the various treatments of the Song is as diverse as the theological and cultural currents from which they spring. This is evident even in the sparest monody (pieces with a single melodic line), such as the Hebrew Cantillations and the Latin change works Osculetur me, Dilectus Meus, Ferculum fecit sibi rex Salomon, and Hildegard’s O Eclessia. The natural ebb and flow of the Ashkenazic (Eastern European) Hebrew itself contrasts sharply with the cadences and syntax of medieval church Latin. That contrast is accentuated by the distinctive melodic modes on which the music is built. To western ears, the Hebrew modes may sound faintly “eastern,” while the church modes of the Latin works are the archetypal starting point for western classical music.
Not surprisingly, the contemporary composers whose works appear here tend toward a reading of the Hebrew text as it speaks to us in modern translations such as Ariel Bloch’s and Chana Bloch’s The Song of Songs and Marcia Falk’s The Song of Songs: Love Lyrics from the Bible. Shira Kammen has fashioned an exquisite setting of Awake, North Wind that is unmistakably contemporary in the immediacy and passion of its call to a lover. Dodi Li, a popular Israeli song that is often sung for weddings, is familiar and well-loved, with its festive rhythm and beguiling melody. Max Helfman’s Set Me as a Seal Upon Thy Heart reveals Sephardic influences while Cantor William Sharlin’s five part Shir Hashirim is based on a Lithuanian version of the Song of Songs cantillation. Ivan Moody has pointed out that Byzantine and Slavonic liturgical chant has had a profound influence on his music. Indeed the Byzantine world is powerfully suggested by the drones in Canticum Canticorum. The works on this afternoon’s program reflect both our contemporary response to the ancient Song and our response to the varying contexts in which the Song has been understood and performed over the centuries. To listen is to revel in the richness of the text itself and in the accretions of meaning that the centuries – indeed, the millennia – have brought to this Song of Songs.
–Paul G. Levenson
About the Performers Tapestry, a Boston-based ensemble of women’s voices, made its debut in 1995 with the performance of Steve Reich’s Tehillim at Jordan Hall in Boston which The Boston Globe deemed “a knockout”. The trademark of the ensemble is combining medieval repertory and contemporary compositions in bold, conceptual programming. Critics hail their rich distinctive voices, their “technically spoton singing” and their emotionally charged performances. The LA Times writes of their performance of Hildegard’s O Vos Angeli: “... as radiant and exciting as any singing I’ve heard all season” and The Cleveland Plain Dealer describes Tapestry as “an ensemble that plants haunting vibrations, old and new, in our ears.”
Cristi Catt, soprano, has performed with leading early music groups including Ensemble PAN, Revels, Boston Camerata and La Donne Musicale. Her interest in the meeting points between medieval and folk traditions has led to research grants to Portugal and France and performances with HourGlass, Le Bon Vent and Clash of Civilizations. She teaches at New England Conservatory. Laurie Monahan, mezzo-soprano, co-founded Ensemble Project Ars Nova (PAN), and also appeared with Sequentia for many years. Laurie worked with the Studio der Frühen Musik at the Schola Cantorum in Basel, Switzerland, and teaches at the Longy School of Music of Bard College and Berklee College of Music.
Their concert appearances include the Utrecht Early Music and the Maastricht Musica Sacra Festivals; Regensburg’s Tage Alter Musik; the Flanders Festivals of Gent and Brussels; Le Donne in Musica, Rome; Jordan Hall, Boston; Hildegard von Bingen Symposium at the University of Oregon, Eugene; Kalamazoo Medieval Conference, Michigan; Frick Collection and Rockefeller University, New York; Harvard; Da Camera of Houston; Boulder’s Early Music Concert Series; Denver’s Newman Performing Arts Center; Da Camera Society LA; Stanford University; Cleveland’s Museum Concerts; festivals in Ottawa and Montreal, and many others. In the fall of 2008, the ensemble toured Latvia and also performed at the Moscow Conservatory.
Daniela Tosic, mezzo-soprano, is a native of Belgrade, Yugoslavia. She has toured with the Belgrade-based ensemble Renaissance throughout the former Yugoslavia. In the Boston area she has worked with Ensemble PAN, Revels, Zamir, Jubal’s Lyre, La Donna Musicale, Balmus and The Blue Heron Renaissance Choir. She is a founding member of medieval world fusion ensemble HourGlass and has served as a guest teacher for Longy’s Medieval Institute.
Tapestry performed their program American Dreams at the Library of Congress and New York City’s Frick Collection, and subsequently expanded American Dreams to include South American material. They appeared at the Bucerius Foundation in Hamburg with works from the 13th to the 15th centuries (broadcast by the Norddeutsche Radio). At the new Ottawa festival Music and Beyond, Tapestry unveiled The White Rooster, a mini-opera based on Tibetan folklore written for the ensemble by Sheila Silver. The White Rooster was also performed at the Freer and Sackler Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute to coincide with an exhibition of Tibetan art, and later toured in North and South America.
Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol, multi-instrumentalist, composer and ethnomusicologist has appeared on NPR’s Robin Young and PRI’s The World. He has composed for, performed and toured with international stars and ensembles. Richard Dyer of the Boston Globe states “…and he is another who could play a decisive role in music’s future in the world.” Dr. Sanlıkol taught at Berklee College of Music and New England Conservatory and currently teaches at College of the Holy Cross and Emerson College.
Tapestry has made four recordings with Telarc International: Angeli: Music of Angels; Hildegard von Bingen: Celestial Light; Song of Songs – Come into my Garden; and The Fourth River. Sapphire Night, their first recording with German Label, MDG, won the 2005 Echo Prize. Tapestry released Faces of a Woman on the MDG label in 2007.
Diana Brewer performs regularly as a singer and baroque string player, appearing with the Arcadia Players, Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society, Amor Artis Baroque Orchestra of New York, and Schola Cantorum of Boston. She is a currently studying to become a cantor.
Takaaki Masuko, percussionist, has performed with a diverse group of music ensembles including Les Miserables Brass Band and The Horse Flies. He collaborates regularly with various dance, theatre and multimedia projects and is a co-founder of Sabana Blanca, a group specializing in silent film accompaniment. He is a co-founder of HourGlass and serves as an accompanist for the Dance Department at Boston Conservatory. Tapestry is represented by Shupp Artists Management, Inc.
This concert concludes the Collectionâ€™s 2013-2014 Sunday Afternoon Series.
May 5 Yale Baroque Ensemble 5:30 pm Morse Recital Hall, 470 College Street Free admission, no tickets required May 8th & 9th Yale Baroque Ensemble 5:30 pm 15 Hillhouse Avenue Admission is free, but tickets are required. For reservations, call: 203-432-0825
Hebrew Cantillation (Shir Hashirim)
The Song of Songs, which is Solomon’s. Kiss me, make me drunk with your kisses! Your sweet loving is better than wine.
You are fragrant, You are myrrh and aloes. All the young women want you.
Hebrew Cantillation (Hishbati Etchem)
Take me by the hand, let us run together!
Daughters of Jerusalem, swear to me by the gazelles, by the deer in the field, that you will never awaken love until it is ripe.
Who is that rising from the desert like a pillar of smoke, more fragrant with myrrh and frankincense than all the spices of the merchant!
O, the splendors of King Solomon! The bravest of Israel surround his bed, threescore warriors, each of them skilled in battle, each with his sword on his thigh against the terror of night.
My lover, my king, has brought me into his chambers. We will laugh, you and I, and count each kiss, better than wine. Every one of them wants you. Shir Hashirim 1:1 1:2 3:2
The Song of Songs, which is Solomon’s. Kiss me, make me drunk with your kisses! Your sweet loving is better than wine. I must rise and go about the city, the narrow streets and squares, till I find my only love. I sought him everywhere but I could not find him. Hurry, my love! Run away, my gazelle, my wild stag on the hills of cinnamon.
Rex Salomon 3:9 3:10
King Solomon made a bed for himself from the woods of Lebanon; its columns he made of silver, the pillow of gold, its stairs of purple, the middle he has built of love for the daughters of Jerusalem. Sixty are the queens and eighty the concubines and the young girls are beyond number; unique is my dove, my perfect one, her mother’s only one, the elect of her who bore her.
Open for me, my sister, my love, my dove, my spotless one, for my head is full of dew and my hair of the drops of the night.
Let him kiss me with the kiss of his mouth, for your breasts are better than wine, fragrant with the best ointments, and the smell of your ointments is above all spices.
Come, my beloved, let us go out into the field, let us linger in the country houses, Let us go early to the vineyards, and let us see if the vines have flowered, if the flowers have borne their fruit, if the pomegranates have flowered; there I will give you my breasts.
Dilectus Meus 2:10
My beloved spoke to me: Rise quickly, my love, my fair one, and come away.
For lo, the winter has passed, the rains have come and gone,
The flowers have appeared in our land, and the time of pruning has come.
Come, you shall be crowned. Come, you spouse of the Savior, vessel of virtue and honor, come. Come, you girl of modesty, vessel of salvation, of the dew, come. Come, exalted leader of the angels, guide of orphans, you renowned one; your Son, the pleasing one, is given to the world, come, for now you are chosen and made mother of Christ, you have given the sad world eternal joys, come, you will be crowned. Hail, hope and health of the sick, reliever of the desperate; hail, you brilliance and splendor of the Trinity, source of chastity, our restorer. May we, by your aid, overcome the delights of the flesh, that we may remain without woes at the Last Judgment.
Canticum Canticorum: Three Motets from the Song of Songs 2:10 2:11 2:12 2:13
7:10 7:11 7:12
Rise quickly, my love, my dove, my fair one, and come away. For lo, the winter has passed, the rains have come and gone, the flowers have appeared in our land, the time of pruning has come, and the voice of the turtledove has been heard in our land; the fig-tree has given forth its fruits, and the flowering vines have given their smell, Alleluia. Come into my garden, that I may see the apples of the valleys and discover whether the flowering vines and the pomegranates have budded. Return, return Sunamite! Return, return that I may gaze upon you. Alleluia. I am my beloved’s, and he is turned towards me. Come, my beloved, let us go into the field, let us stay in the villages. Early we shall go to the vineyards, and see if the vines have flowered.
Osculetur me 1:1
Let him kiss me with the kiss of his mouth.
Set Me as a Seal Upon Thy Heart 8:6
Bind me as a seal upon thy heart, a sign upon your arm, for love is as fierce as death, its jealousy bitter as the grave. Even its sparks are a raging fire, a devouring flame.
Great seas cannot extinguish love, no river can sweep it away.
Si la noche hace escura When the night is dark and the way so short, how can you not come to me, my friend? If midnight has passed and my tormentor doesn’t come, it is my bad luck that stops him. I have lost myself in my great passion. How can you not come to me my friend? La Rosa enflorese The rose blooms in the month of May, my soul darkens, suffering from love…
Erev shel Shoshanim Poet: Moshe Dor
An evening of roses Let’s go out to the spice-garden Myrrh, spices, and frankincense, Are as a carpet for your feet.
As a lily among thorns So is my beloved among women.
Night falls slowly The rose-wind blows Come - I will whisper to you a song, quietly A song of love.
You daughters of Jerusalem tell my beloved that I waste away for love.
Your lips drip honeycomb, my bride, and the smell of your garments is like the smell of frankincense.
Behold, how beautiful you are, my beloved; how beautiful you are, for your eyes are like doves. 1:1 Let him kiss me with the kiss of his mouth.
My soul melted when my beloved spoke. I sought him but did not find him; I called, and he did not answer me. The watchmen of the city found me; the guardians of the walls took my cloak; you daughters of Jerusalem, tell my beloved that I waste away for love.
Dawn; the dove is cooing Your hair is full of dewdrops Your mouth is like a rose unto the morning I will pick it for myself. Night falls slowly....
Hebrew translations are from The Song of Songs: A New Translation by Ariel Bloch and Chana Bloch. Latin translations by Robert L. Kendrick.