Hathor Consort & Hana Blažíková o.l.v. Romina Lischka 

Heavenly & Earthly Love

BE & CZ
ZONDAG 10 JULI - 15u00

The Italian composer and singer Barbara Strozzi made history with her stunning compositional output as one of the few female baroque composers and is mainly remembered for her erotic love songs. In their interpretation, Hathor Consort and soprano Hana Blazikova bring to light the recurring theme of love and its perils, in which expressive tears and sighs resound above a steady, intimate bass line. 

Hathor_Consort_BW-0462-2.jpg

"Let your breasts be like bunches on the vine, your breath like the fragrance of apples, your tongue like sweet wine, in which my kisses are bathed." (Song of Songs: 7) The erotic texts of the Biblical Song of Songs occupy a special place within the Hebrew Bible. The sexual desire between people of flesh and blood is key. Nevertheless, in order to frame the obvious eroticism as a form of divine rather than human love, Judaism interprets the Song of Songs as an allegory of the relationship between God and Israel, while Christianity understands the couple's desire for each other as an allegory of Christ and his "bride," the Church. 

 

 

The controversial content of the Song of Songs did not stop composers from setting the tantalizing words to music, as in the case of Giovanni Pierlugi da Palestrina (1525-1594) and his 29-part motet cycle Canticum Canticorum. Palestrina, too, interprets the Song of Songs not as a narrative of human love, but as "the divine love for Christ and his bride, the soul." In the dedication, which has since become famous, in which Palestrina dedicates the cycle to Pope Gregory XIII, the composer confesses to having committed the sin of sounding out secular love poetry in the past. 

  • YouTube
"Blažíková limpidly stylish singing eloquently conveys the poetry and its sentiments. Such rarefied beauty and intelligence means that any risk of textural monotony is deftly side-stepped, and a treasure trove of fine music is revealed." Grammophone