• Monday, Dec 12, 2011

    Carnegie Hall's Making Music Series Begins with David Lang's Pulitzer Prize-Winning The Little Match Girl Passion and New York Premiere of His Newly Composed Companion Piece Death Speaks, in Zankel Hall on January 27 at 6:00 p.m.

    Performers Include Bryce Dessner of The National, Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond, Owen Pallett, Nico Muhly, and Paul Hillier’s Theatre of Voices  
    Exploring the music and thought of leading composers, Carnegie Hall’s 2011-2012 Making Music series begins with a concert focusing on the works of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang on Friday, January 27 at 6:00 p.m. in Zankel Hall. Paul Hillier’s Theatre of Voices performs Lang’s acclaimed work, the little match girl passion, and some of today’s most exciting independent rock and classical musicians—Bryce Dessner of The National, Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond, Owen Pallett formerly known as Final Fantasy, and Nico Muhly—give the New York premiere of death speaks, a Carnegie Hall co-commission and companion piece to the little match girl passion. Making Music is moderated by Carnegie Hall’s Director of Artistic Planning Jeremy Geffen with commentary by the composer.

    Lang’s the little match girl passion was co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall and received its world premiere in Zankel Hall in 2007. The composer was subsequently awarded the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in music for the piece, a poignant adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s fable, The Little Match Girl, composed in the format of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. The Harmonia Mundi recording of the little match girl passion was awarded a 2010 Grammy Award for Best Small Ensemble Performance. Lang drew inspiration for death speaks from the lieder of Franz Schubert, particularly in the texts for such songs as Death and the Maiden. He writes, “What makes these Schubert texts so interesting is that Death is personified. It isn’t a state of being or a place or a metaphor, but a person, a character in a drama who can tell us in our own language what to expect in the ‘World to Come.’” Just as the text for the little match girl passion is made up of Lang’s paraphrases of texts from Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, the libretto for death speaks quotes every instance in Schubert where Death is personified, taken from 32 different songs.

    Artist Information
    David Lang is one of the most highly esteemed American composers writing today. His works have been performed around the world and in many of the great concert halls. Many of Lang's pieces resemble each other only in the fierce intelligence and clarity of vision that inform their structures. His catalogue is extensive, and his opera, orchestra, chamber, and solo works are by turns ominous, ethereal, urgent, hypnotic, unsettling, and very emotionally direct. Much of his work seeks to expand the definition of virtuosity in music—even the deceptively simple pieces can be fiendishly difficult to play and require incredible concentration by musicians and audiences alike.His music is used regularly in ballet and dance productions around the world, by such choreographers as Benjamin Millepied, Twyla Tharp, Susan Marshall, and Edouard Lock. Lang’s film work includes the score for Jonathan Parker’s recent (Untitled), the award-winning documentary The Woodmans, and the string arrangements for the soundtrack to Requiem for a Dream, performed by the Kronos Quartet. In addition to his work as a composer, Lang co-founded Bang on a Can, the prominent new music festival in New York. He is Professor of Composition at the Yale School of Music.

    Program Information
    Friday, January 27 at 6:00 p.m.
    Zankel Hall

    Commentary by David Lang
    Theatre of Voices
    •• Else Torp, Soprano
    •• Miriam Andersén, Mezzo
    •• Chris Watson, Tenor
    •• Jakob Bloch Jespersen, Bass
    •• Jonas Jensen, Sound Design
    •• Paul Hillier, Artistic Director
    Bryce Dessner, Vocals and Guitar
    Shara Worden, Vocals and Guitar
    Owen Pallett, Vocals and Violin
    Nico Muhly, Keyboards
    Jeremy Geffen, Series Moderator

    DAVID LANG the little match girl passion
    DAVID LANG death speaks (NY Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)

    Sponsored by Ernst & Young LLP

    Carnegie Hall's co-commission of David Lang's death speaks in the 2011-2012 season is made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts.

    Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall.
    Ticket Information
    Tickets, priced at $30, are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street, or can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website, carnegiehall.org.

    For more information discount ticket programs, including those for students, Notables members, and Bank of America customers, visit carnegiehall.org/discounts.
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