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The program showcases a wide selection of the twenty-nine pieces from the Fourth Book of Motets by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, 'Song of Songs', arranged with voices and instruments in the same narrative sequence envisioned by the composer.


The arrangements for voices and instruments highlight the dialogues between the protagonists of the love poem, Sulamite (soprano) and Solomon (tenor), bringing to life an original 'representative' interpretation by the Ensemble Opera Omnia of Palestrina's masterpiece.

Ensemble Opera Omnia


\\Canticum Canticorum//

Osculetur me - audio

The texts, are presented in dual form: the Latin version set to music by Palestrina acompanied by a translation available in all languages. This enables the audience to appreciate not only the musical greatness of the compositions but also the lyricism of the text.

The arrangements deviate from the traditional 'a Cappella' vocal setting, with only the melodic lines of the two protagonists, Sulamite and Solomon, being sung by a soprano and a tenor. The remaining melodic lines are assigned to Renaissance instruments including the transverse flutes, guitar, and lute.


The arrangements forms a lush sonic tapestry distinguished by nuanced phrasing and sustain of both the voices and the wind instrument, complemented by the crystalline airiness of the plucked instruments.


The timbral variety, due to these choices, transition from the rarefied sonority of the instrumental pieces 

to the denser and more expressive sound of the voices. In this manner, our goal is to provide an unconventional interpretation of the work, while maintaining historical accuracy.  

In the Renaissance context of sacred music, the "a cappella" style, intended exclusively for voices, prevails. However, the composer's original statement in the print of 1587 positions the collection in a borderland between the sacred motet and secular madrigal, where it was customary to use instruments that would double or replace the voices.

Our representational intent is expressed through a variety of arrangements, meticulously crafted to visually portray the fresco outlined by the sacred text's author.


This depiction is marked by the "time of singing" (Ct 2:12), highlighting the alternation of seasons, day and night, the blowing of the winds, and the motion of the stars.

This is a time beautifully captured by Palestrina's music, capable of evoking, more effectively than many words and exegeses, the colors, sounds, and scents of the Middle Eastern setting in which the protagonists move.

Canticum Canticorum


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