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Karen Tanaka

Publisher: Chester Music

The Song of Songs (1996)
Commissioned by the Xebec Hall
Chester Music Ltd
Solo Works (excluding keyboard)
Year Composed
8 Minutes

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Programme Note
Karen Tanaka The Song of Songs (1996)
Available from your music dealer or
   score CH61515 from
   CD-ROM OM24569 from
   score 14032637 from
   CD-ROM 14032636 from

Composer note:
The title comes from the Song of Solomon of the Old Testament, which is a beautiful song of love. It begins as follows:

The song of songs, which is Solomon's.
Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine.
Because of the savour of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth,
therefore do the virgins love thee.

I have attempted to project this sensual song of love onto the sound of cello and computer. My intention was to weave color and scent into the sound while blending the ancient story and today's technology. The sound of cello is consistently gentle and tender.

This work was commissioned by Yutaka Fujishima and the Xebec Hall. It was first performed by Ryoichi Fujimori in Mito, Japan, on 10th November 1996.

© Karen Tanaka

  • Soloist(s)
    Madeleine Shapiro
    Albany Records:
  • Soloist(s)
    Joan Jeanrenaud
    New Albion Records:
  • Soloist(s)
    Maya Fridman, cello
  • 22 MAR 2018
    New York Live Arts, New York, NY
    Disability Dance Works LLC

    Other Dates:
    23,24 March - New York Live Arts, New York, NY
  • 29 SEP 2017
    Crater Performing Arts Center, Central Point, OR
    Disability Dance Works LLC
  • 08 SEP 2017
    Gaudeamus Festival
    Utrecht, The Netherlands
    Maya Fridman, cello
  • 08 SEP 2017
    Gaudeamus Music Week, Utrecht, Netherlands
    Maya Fridman, cello
  • 18 FEB 2017
    MerkAz, Utrecht, Netherlands
    Maya Fridman, cello
  • 29 JUL 2016
    Brussels, Belgium
    Christine Ott, ondes martenot

    Other Dates:
    10 August - Taps Scala Festival, Strasbourg, France
  • 16 APR 2016
    Toronto, Canada
    Alice Kim, cello
  • 18 MAR 2016
    Brest, France
    Christine Ott, ondes martenot
  • 13 APR 2013
    St. James's Episcopal Church, Richmond, Virginia, USA
    Frances-Marie Uitti (cello)
  • 23 MAR 2012
    REDCAT, Los Angeles
    Frances - Marie Uitti (cello)
  • 13 NOV 2011
    Mills College, Littlefield Concert Hall, Oakland, CA
    Gianna Abondolo (cello)
  • 19 JUN 2011
    International Cello Festival of Canada
    Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall, Winnipeg, Canada
    Shauna Rolston
  • 06 MAR 2010
    The American College Dance Festival
    Middle Tennessee University Auditorium, US
  • 14 OCT 2009
    San Francisco
    Gianna Abondolo, cello
  • 30 OCT 2008
    Martyn Harris Centre, Manchester University, Manchester
    Jennifer Langridge, conductor
  • 26 JAN 2006
    La Rotonde, Quebec City
    Shauna Rolston, cello

    Other Dates:
    27,28 January - La Rotonde, Quebec City
    2 February - La maison de la culture Frontenac, Montreal
    9-12 February - Betty Oliphant Theatre, Toronto
    16-18 February - Gas Station Theatre, Winnipeg
  • 25 APR 2004
    Center Stage Theater, Santa Barbara, California, US
    Peter Jacobson, cello
  • 20 NOV 2003
    Istanbul International Spectral Music Conference
    Istanbul, Turkey
    Yelda Özgen, cello; Müge Hendekli, piano
  • 08 OCT 2003
    Mark Moore, New York City
    Peter Jacobson, cello
  • 04 OCT 2003
    Bergamot Station, Santa Monica, CA 08 - The Movement Salon, NY
    Peter Jacobson, cello

    Other Dates:
    8 October - The Movement Salon, NY
  • 19 SEP 2003
    Autunnale - Bergen Festival of Contemporary Music
    Bergen, Norway
    Signe Bakke, piano / Bjørg Værnes, cello / René Wilk, saxophone
  • 12 SEP 2003
    Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles
    Peter Jacobson, cello
  • 08 MAR 2003
    Ensemble Theatre Compnay, Santa Barbara, USA
    Peter Jacobson, cello
  • 24 FEB 2003
    California State University, Northridge, USA
    Peter Jacobson, cello
  • 01 MAR 2002
    Queen Elizabeth Hall, London
    Joan Jeanrenaud, cello

    Other Dates:
    2 March - Phoenix Arts Centre, Exeter
    3 March - Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry
  • 25 FEB 2002
    South Hill Arts Centre, Bracknell
    Joan Jeanrenaud, cello

    Other Dates:
    27 February - Dome, Brighton
  • 07 FEB 2002
    The Great Hall, Lancaster University
    John Carewe, conductor
  • International Cello Festival Zutphen
    Maya Fridman, cello

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