Published by

Harold Rosenbaum's New York Virtuoso Singers

Email a Friend

David Lang's little match girl passion

WNYC'S Jerome L. Greene Space
Sunday, November 8, 2009 at 8PM
44 Charlton Street (on the corner of Charlton and Varick)
New York, NY 10014
Tickets: $10

» New Sounds Live 2009-2010 Concert Season

On Sunday, November 8, 2009 at 8PM, come to WNYC's Jerome L. Greene Space and be part of a New Sounds Live broadcast of the American Premiere of the choral version of David Lang's little match girl passion, performed by Harold Rosenbaum's New York Virtuoso Singers. The Pulitzer Prize-winning work is based on the story by the Danish author Hans Christian Anderson in which a poor young girl, whose father beats her, tries unsuccessfully to sell matches on the street, is scorned and ignored by the crowd, and freezes to death.

David Lang, composer and co-founder of Bang On A Can, wrote in program notes to accompany the Carnegie Hall premiere: "The girl's bitter present is locked together with the sweetness of her past memories. Her poverty is always suffused with her hopefulness. There's a kind of naive equilibrium between suffering and hope." Lang sets Andersen's story in the format of Bach's Saint Matthew Passion, interspersing Andersen's narrative with his own versions of the crowd and character responses from Bach's Passion. The movements of the haunting evocative work veer into minimalism and seem as simple as plainchant, but the uniquely fitted harmonies and rhythmic constructions make it, according to Pulitzer Prize Juror Tim Page, "unlike any music I know."

Also on the program is György Ligeti’s Lux Aeterna, a piece for 16 solo singers, which just happens to be known for its use in Stanley Kubrick's 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Tickets for the concert are $10.

Harold Rosenbaum is one of the most accomplished and critically acclaimed choral conductors of our time. He is the winner of the 2008 American Composer Alliance's Laurel Leaf Award, given in recognition of "distinguished achievement in fostering and encouraging American music." Among the recipients of the Laurel Leaf have been the Juilliard String Quartet, Leonard Slatkin, Leopold Stokowski, George Szell, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Also in recognition of his leadership in the interpretation and performance of contemporary music, G. Schirmer Music Inc. has established its Harold Rosenbaum Choral Series, for which he composes, edits, and gives performance suggestions for conductors. A tireless proponent and advocate for contemporary composers and American composers in particular, he has created an annual choral composition competition, has commissioned twenty five works, has conducted over 300 world premieres (including works by Ravel [in Paris], Schoenberg, Schnittke, Carter, Henze, Berio, Perle, and Harbison), and has recorded contemporary choral music for SONY Classical, Albany, CRI, Bridge, Koch International, Capstone, and DRG. He is also a three-time recipient of the ASCAP/Chorus America Award for Adventuresome Programming of Contemporary Music, and a recipient of Chorus America's American Choral Works Performance Award.

Founded in 1988 by conductor Harold Rosenbaum, The New York Virtuoso Singers is a twelve to sixteen-member professional choral ensemble (sometimes expanded to 24 or more) dedicated to presenting both seldom-heard works by past and contemporary masters, as well as premieres by today's composers. NYVS has won the prestigious ASCAP-Chorus America "Award for Adventuresome Programming of Contemporary Music" three times, and has been given Chorus America's "American Choral Works Performance Award." The ensemble has collaborated with The Brooklyn Philharmonic, The American Composers Orchestra, The Juilliard Orchestra, The Orchestra of St. Luke's, The American Symphony, The Bard Festival Orchestra, The Mark Morris Dance Group, Bang on a Can, The Glynbourne Opera Company, Parnassus, and The Riverside Symphony. NYVS is Chorus-in-Residence at St. Ignatius of Antioch Episcopal Church in New York City, and appears on four upcoming CD releases on Bridge Records, Albany Records, Naxos, and USM Records, featuring the music of John Corigliano, Mark Adamo, David Felder, and Yehudi Wyner.

David Lang is the recipient of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in Music for the Little Match Girl Passion, commissioned by Carnegie Hall for the vocal ensemble Theatre of Voices, directed by Paul Hillier. His recent works include writing on water for the London Sinfonietta, with libretto and visuals by English filmmaker Peter Greenaway; the difficulty of crossing a field – a fully staged opera for the Kronos Quartet; loud love songs, a concerto for the percussionist Evelyn Glennie, and the oratorio Shelter, with co-composers Michael Gordon and Julia Wolfe, at the Next Wave Festival of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, staged by Ridge Theater and featuring the Norwegian vocal ensemble Trio Mediaeval. The commercial recording of the little match girl passion was released in June 2009 on Harmonia Mundi, coupled with a cappella choral works sung by Ars Nova Copenhagen. One of America’s most performed and honored composers, Lang is co-founder and co-artistic director of New York's legendary music festival, Bang on a Can.

Additional Resources:
» Harold Rosenbaum’s New York Virtuoso Singers
» Harold Rosenbaum
» David Lang on New Sounds from July 2009
» David Lang
» Schott Music's Gyorgy Ligeti bio
» New Sounds Live 2009-2010 Concert Season
» WNYC’s Jerome L. Greene Space