Nigra sum, sed formosa

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These are program notes from our May 28, 2017 concert.

Palestrina’s Nigra sum, sed formosa

Nigra sum, sed formosa was written by Italian composer Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina in the 16th century. He wrote hundreds of masses and used the Bible as the basis for his compositions. This composition comes from the love story in the Song of Solomon.  The woman pleads for the man to pay attention to her with these words: “Take me away with you. Let’s run off together. We’ll celebrate, we’ll make great music together.  Don’t look down on me because I’m dark. I am black and I am beautiful”.

Written by Ken Dolbear

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