“Yishakeyni (Kiss me)” sets the first four verses of “Song of Songs,” the great love song of the Bible. It invites the listener into a realm of human and Divine love which transcends boundaries through intimate merging. In this realm, all is beauty, with longing and ecstacy the poles of expression.
The soprano sings the original text in Hebrew, with a modal melody derived from the traditional cantillation for “Song of Songs.” She also plays with the sounds and sensuality of the language itself, sometimes using vowels alone, as if disrobing the words of their consonants for greater intimacy. The piano and flute provide a gentle harmonic and melodic landscape for the Song.
It is my hope that by entering the world of “Shir HaShirim (Song of Songs),” a world known to mystics and lovers from all traditions, we will come closer to making its reality our own.
(Composed for the Jerusalem Lyric Trio.)