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  Harmonia Mundi -
  HMU 807496
  Lang: The Little Match Girl Passion - Hillier
  David Lang: The Little Match Girl Passion, For Love is Strong, I Lie, Evening Morning Day, Again (after Ecclesiastes)

Theatre of Voices
Ars Nova Copenhagen
Paul Hillier (conductor)
Track listing:
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Reviews: 1

Review by JJ October 3, 2009 (7 of 7 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
This is truly a wonderful surprise. Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s “Den Lille Pige Med Svovlstikkerne” [The Little Match Girl], David Lang’s score is a jewel. “I wanted to tell a story,” he states, “and not just any; that of The Little Match Girl by the Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen. Officially meant for young children, this story presents the horrible mix of danger and morals that numerous stories for children have in common. […] If this story fascinates me, it is because its force does not come from what happens, but more generally from the fact that each of its components – horror and beauty – always includes its opposite.” Born in 1957, David Lang won the Pulitzer Prize in music for this admirable work, which was commissioned for Carnegie Hall by Paul Hillier himself. Written in 2007, the score opens on a sonic universe of strange beauty in which purity is unadorned and all seems to be on hold, as if imbued with divine clarity. In this special space, the composer offers us both a musical and sensorial contemplation, leading the listener into dream, as little contemporary music has done in the past. In addition to the “Passion” are four other works: “For Love is Strong” from 2007 based on the Cantique des Cantiques, “I Lie” from 2001, “Evening Morning Day” based on Genesis, and “Again (after ecclesiasts)” dating from 2005. Throughout all, Paul Hillier and his group Theatre of Voices, accompanied by Ars Nova Copenhagen, show exemplary commitment. In a stereo and multichannel recording that is perfectly balanced tonally and acoustically, this SACD is a winner.

Jean-Jacques Millo
Translation Lawrence Schulman

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Works: 5  

David Lang - Again (after Ecclesiastes)
David Lang - Evening Morning Day
David Lang - For Love is Strong
David Lang - I Lie
David Lang - The Little Match Girl Passion