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"Strong, honest, and musically sincere" - Gordon Stout
The text is taken from the Old Testament book, Song of Solomon, written c. 945 BC. King Solomon, known for writing over 3,000 proverbs and 1,005 songs, called this composition his Shir Hashirim – his most exquisite “Song of all Songs.” It is an incomparable celebration of romantic love in all aspects.
In the entirety of Solomon’s 700 marriages and 300 additional maid-servant relationships, his search for true love led him to one ‘almah, one young girl, one maiden, who captured his heart like no other. She is called a Shulamite, from the city of Shunem which was located southwest of the Sea of Galilee in Israel. The residents were descendents of Issachar, one of Jacob’s twelve sons, and they were known for their strength, humility, and desire to serve unconditionally.
From the Song of Solomon we learn that ‘Almah grew up with harsh brothers who forced her to labor in her family’s vineyards. She viewed herself as a common girl, like the common meadow flowers “a rose of Sharon” and “a lily of the valleys.” Yet, ‘Almah’s life changed forever when the most powerful ruler known to man fell deeply in love with her, making her his only beloved. Like a shepherd, Solomon gave her rest. Like an oasis, he gave her water and safety. Like an apple tree in the forest, he stood out broadly among men. Such are the beginning images in the Song that describe her new life with the king.
In Hebrew, 'Almah means “young girl, maiden, or damsel”. A variation on the word is the Hebrew musical term 'alamoth, which can be translated "soprano." So the Song of ‘Almah is the composer’s duet for marimba and 'alamoth. It was commissioned by Charles Beall, who also chose the Song of Solomon as the text. Although the Song of Solomon contains parts spoken by the King and parts by the Chorus (the Daughters of Jerusalem), the composer only selected key passages spoken by the beloved 'Almah.
Love's intensity ... love's heartbreak ... powerful physical attraction ... this is the Song of 'Almah…
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Sample 01(Click Arrow to Play)