Laulud Laulude Laulust (The Song of Song of Songs)

Conductor Notes:

We break free from the pain of loss with this suite of four a cappella settings of texts from the Song of Songs. These are glowing, light- and love-infused texts set in orchards and rose gardens. The music is supple and translucent, weaving a spell in this composition by Estonian composer Kõrvits. Elektra met him in November 2017 when we performed this suite at the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) World New Music Days 2017 in downtown Vancouver, where we shared a concert as guests of the Vancouver Chamber Choir and musica intima. That performance is due to be broadcast on CBC Radio 2’s In Concert soon.


This lists any discs, concerts or collections where this piece is included.



Texts from the Bible, the Song of Solomon (also known as the Song of Songs)

I. Ütle sina… (1:7)
II. Ärka, põhjatuul… (4:16)
III. Vaatame, kas viinapuu ajab võrseid… (7:13)
IV. Arm ja surm (8:6-7)

Texts / English Translations

I. Ütle sina… (1:7)
Ütle sina, keda mu hing armastab:
kus hoiad sa oma karja,
kus lased sa tal lõuna ajal lebada?

Tell me…
Say to me, you, whom my soul does love:
Where do you keep your flock,
where do you let it lie and rest at mid-day?

II. Ärka, põhjatuul… (4:16)
Ärka, põhjatuul, tule, lõunatuul, puhu läbi roosiaia, laota tema palsamilõhna!
Mu kallim tuleb oma rohuaeda kõige hõrgumat vilja maitsma.

Awaken, northwind, come, southwind, blow through my rosegarden, spread its balm and fragrance!
My beloved will come to her garden to taste the most savoury harvest.

III. Vaatame, kas viinapuu ajab võrseid… (7:13)
Vaatame, kas viinapuu ajab võrseid,
kas ta õied on lahti löönud,
kas õunapuud õitsevad.
Seal, annan ma sulle oma armastuse.

Let Us See Whether the Vines Have Budded
Let us see if the vines have budded,
if the blossoms have opened,
if the apple trees are in bloom.
There I will give you my love.

IV. Arm ja surm (8:6-7)
Pane mind pitseriks südamele,
pitseriks oma käe peale,
sest arm on vägev kui surm,
kirg on kange kui kalm.

Tema nooled on tulenooled,
Jehoova on välgu lõõm:
ei mata teda Allmaameri,
ei kata kinni Eedeni jõed.
Kui keegi annaks kõik,

mis tal on, annaks armastuse eest, siis kes võiks teda laita.

For Love Is as Strong as Death
Set me as a seal on your heart,
a seal on your hand,
because love is as powerful as death,
passion as mighty as the grave.

His arrows are fire arrows,
Jehova is the fire of lightning:
[he] cannot be buried by the seas of the world,
or covered by the rivers of Eden.

If someone gave all, that they had, for the cause of love, then who could fault them?