Tonight the Cambridge choral ensemble Musica Sacra sings selections from the Bible’s notoriously lascivious “Song of Songs.” These Bible passages, as set to music by various composers over the years, sound heavenly, but make no mistake, as the eminences at Wikipedia inform us, this holy scripture “celebrates sexual love.” So as a public service, below I’ve quoted some of the naughtiest bits that they plan to perform at First Church Congregational in Cambridge at 8 p.m.:
“Your rounded thighs are like jewels, the work of a master hand.
Your navel is a rounded bowl that never lacks wine.
Your belly is a heap of wheat encircled with lilies.”
—from ”Motet 25” by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594)
“Your two breasts are as two fawns, twins of a gazelle.
Thy nose is as a tower of ivory.
Thine eyes are like the pools in Hesebon.”
—from ”Motet 26” by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594)
“Come, my beloved, let us go to the countryside,
let us spend the night in the villages.
Let us go early to the vineyards
to see if the vines have budded,
if their blossoms have opened,
and if the pomegranates are in bloom—
there I will give you my breasts.”
—from “Veni, dilecte mi” by Wolfram Buchenberg (b. 1962)