The Los Angeles Master Chorale’s recording of David Lang’s the national anthems is paired with the premiere recording for full chorus of his 2008 Pulitzer Prize-winning work the little match girl passion, transforming this hour-long program into a unique panorama of Lang’s writing process and how it has evolved in recent years.
But taken as a whole, the two works also make a lasting statement about our place in the world we share with each other. As Lang himself describes it: “Both pieces try to use music to show us how we could be or should be better people. the national anthems scours the anthems of all the countries in the world, hoping to find common ground that might allow us to understand each other, across all our artificial boundaries. And the little match girl passion is an attempt to ennoble the idea that it’s important for us to notice the suffering of people around us.”
the national anthems also features the Calder Quartet, lauded by the New York Times as “[living proof that] the time-honored string quartet still provides fertile ground for innovation and surprise.”