Canticum Canticorum Salomonis is a choral composition by Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki. It was finished in 1973.
The composition was commissioned by the Gulbenkian Foundation and took Penderecki from 1970 to 1973 to finish it. It was premiered in Lisbon on June 5, 1973. Werner Andreas Albert conducted the Gulbenkian Orchestra and Les Percussions de Strasbourg, together with the NCRV Vocal Ensemble, which considered the composition too difficult to be performed. It is dedicated to Emil Breisach and was published by the Polish Music Publishing House and Schott Music.
The composition, which is in one movement, takes approximately 16 minutes to perform, and uses an erotic text which is extracted from the Song of Songs. It is scored for a 16-voice choir and orchestra.
Following is the complete text used in the composition:
(Sponsa, Song of Solomon 1:1-2,12)
(Sponsus, Song of Solomon 1:14)
(Sponsa, Song of Solomon 1:15, Song of Solomon 2:4-6)
(Sponsus, Song of Solomon 2:7)
(Sponsa, Song of Solomon 2:8-9)
(Sponsus, Song of Solomon 2:10-11,13–14)
The composition received mixed opinions by critics. Opinions from Polish critics ranged from "one of the best of Penderecki's works", by Malinowski and Michałowski, and "colorful, subtle, elegant, and expressively discreet", by Zielinski, to remarks by Kaczynzki, who deplored the low dynamism of the composition and stated that the composition "deserved a warmer welcome, despite the incoherence of its texts". Polish critic Marian Fuks described the musical style of the work as "lukewarm".
- Avis, Peter (2007). Penderecki: Orchestral Works. EMI Records Ltd.
- Bylander, Cindy (January 2004). Krzysztof Penderecki: a bio-bibliography. Westport: Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc. ISBN 0-313-25658-6.
- "Blue" Gene Tyranny. "Krzysztof Penderecki Canticum canticorum Salomonis, for chorus & orchestra". allmusic.com. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved February 16, 2014.
- Whitehouse, Richard. "PENDERECKI, K.: Canticum canticorum Salomonis / Kosmogonia (Warsaw Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra, Wit) (Liner Notes)". naxos.com. Naxos Digital Services. Retrieved February 16, 2014.
- "PENDERECKI, K.: Canticum canticorum Salomonis / Kosmogonia (Sung Text)" (PDF). naxos.com. Naxos Digital Services. Retrieved February 16, 2014.
- Michałowski, M. Jozef (1974). "A jednak Penderecki!". Dziennik Zachodni (225).
- Erhardt; Ludwik (1974). "O muzyce polskiej na festiwalu". Ruch muzyczny. 18 (23): 3–12.
- "Łody nie przełamane". Sztandar Mlodych (227). 1974.
- Fuks, Marian (1974). "Przekora i dręczenie. Po 'Warszawskiej Jesieni 1974". Trybuna Mazowiecka (235).