A pastoral piano accompaniment, legato vocal lines, subtle rhythmic dissonance and rich harmonic palette combine to reveal this timeless text. The contrasting middle section features a cappella choir and includes an optional soprano solo on the text “You have stolen my heart.” You may consider performing the middle section with a smaller group for additional contrast. Despite the changes in meter, the pulse remains constant throughout, beginning with a background of three, changing to a background of two, and returning a background of three for the conclusion of the piece.
The Song of Solomon is often interpreted as an allegorical representation of the relationship between the temporal and the spiritual. This setting, intermingling the texts from the third and fourth chapters, centers around the refrain “All Beautiful You Are” which is liturgically linked as a symbol of the Virgin Mary. Also using Vidi Speciosam, a text from the Responsory at Matins on the Feast of the Assumption, this text highlights the mystic relationship between the lover and the beloved.