This past Sunday WNYC's show "New Sounds Live" invited American composer David Lang to their very cool performance venue, The Greene Space, an intimate, environmentally-conscious yet audibly superior hall on the ground floor of WNYC's new home on the corner of Charlton and Varick. While LCD ribbons of text spiraled above, Lang chatted with WNYC host John Schaefer, introducing the American premiere of his choral version of The Little Match Girl Passion, performed by the New York Virtuoso Singers and broadcast live via WNYC.
The work was originally commissioned by Carnegie Hall, and was awarded the 2008 Pulitzer. Lang's libretto and music, based on Hans Christian Andersen’s cruel tale of poverty and solitude, invokes the format of Bach’s Saint Matthew Passion. Voices skillfully personified as percussion, the half-hour performance was unique and expertly sung by a 20-odd mixed SATB chorus, followed by Ligeti’s Lux Aeterna.