Luz y amor (Light and Love)


SSAA a cappella 

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The Princeton Singers, 2008
Steven Sametz, director

The Princeton Singers, 2008
Steven Sametz, director

ECS No. 7351, (SSAA unaccompanied)

Program Notes

Luz y amor is the first of Two Love Songs of St. John of the Cross.

In this poem, St. John tells us that the contemplative soul (the solitary bird) needs five qualities: 1) it must rise above above passing things (fly to the highest point); 2) naturally enjoysolitude;  3) keep its head high, responding to the spirit;  4) have no defined color, no attachments; and 5) it shall be filled with sweet song.  In these five ways, St. John is pointing towards the life of spiritual fulfillment.


Text / translation

Luz y amor (Light and love)

Las condiciones del pájaro solitario son cinco.
La primera, que se va a lo más alto;
la segunda, que no sufre compañía, aunque sea de su naturaleza;
la tercera, que pone el pico al aire;
la cuarta, que no tiene determinado color;
la quinta, que canta suavemente.

–San Juan de la Cruz (St. John of the Cross)
born Juan de Yepes y Álvarez (1542-1591)
Dichos de Luz y Amor (Sayings of Light and Love)


Luz y amor (Light and love)

The conditions of a solitary bird are five:
first, that it seeks the highest place;
second, that it does not want company, not even of its own kind;
third, that it aims its beak to the wind;
fourth, that it has no definite color;
fifth, that it sings very sweetly.