Before The King’s Singers head into the studio to record “How fair thou art” (Biblical Passions) from the master of Renaissance polyphony – Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina – they will be performing some of his finest music in the beautiful Chapel at Sidney Sussex College in Cambridge (UK). Join them in this intimate setting on Wednesday 10 June at 8pm, as they perform these glorious works.
The group has been working with Dr. David Skinner of Sidney Sussex College to create a collection of Palestrina’s settings of Song of Songs, written towards the end of his career. The Song of Songs, also known as the Song of Solomon or ‘Canticles’, is a collection of poetry in the Hebrew Bible on the theme of the joy and ecstasy of human love. The content is often evocative, enigmatic and, at times, purely erotic. Palestrina published his Canticum Canticorum in 1584, dedicating the collection to Pope Gregory XII. The motets in the publication are exquisite miniatures, all crafted by a master musician at the height of his compositional prowess. Framing these “Biblical Passions” are settings by Palestrina of Marian antiphons, venerating Mary, the Mother of Jesus. The passion and fervour of these pieces matches the settings of the Song of Songs in their intensity, illustrating the importance of the Blessed Virgin Mary to the Catholic faithful in the Renaissance.
A small number of tickets have just been made available and can be purchased online. Proceeds will go to the Choir of Sidney Sussex College, who will also be performing within the programme, and The King’s Singers Foundation.