Howard Skempton composed his setting of ‘Rise up, my love‘ in July 2002 for the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir who first performed it in September 2002 under their conductor Paul Hillier in Tallinn. It consists of four short movements each of which corresponds to a passage from the Song of Songs and each of which is in a different metre in response to the stresses within the texts:
It’s sung below by the well-known Danish choir Kammerkoret CAMERATA (CAMERATA chamber choir) under their conductor Martin Nagashima Toft at a concert given in Bregninge church, on September 24th, 2011. Enjoy :-)
Video Source: Camerata Sings Howard Skempton’s "Rise up, my love" (complete) – YouTube Uploaded on 26 Sep 2011 by VideoBuck
Text: Rise up my love
- Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.
For lo, the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone;
The flowers appear on the Earth;
The time of the singing of birds is come,
And the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;
The fig tree putteth forth her green figs,
And the vines with the tender grapes give a good smell.
Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.
O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock,
In the secret places of the stairs,
Let me see thy countenance,
Let me hear thy voice;
For sweet is thy voice,
And thy countenance is comely.
- How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse,
How much better is thy love than wine!
And the smell of thine ointments than all spices!
- My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices,
To feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies.
I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine:
He feedeth among the lilies.
- How fair and how pleasant art thou,
O love, for delights!
I am my beloved’s,
And his desire is toward me.