In 2007, American composer David Lang created a choral work based on Hans Christian Andersen's history, by model of JS Bach's Matthew Passion . Where the story of Jesus' death is set against texts that reflect and comment on the action of the Passions, Lang interleaves other texts in the fairy tale about the little girl. These are texts by HP Paulli (the first to translate the adventure into English in 1872), Picander (the librettist of several of Bach's cantatas, including the Matthew Passion ), as well as excerpts from the Matthew Gospel itself. Lang uses these compilations to cut down the narrative to the basic feelings of history - expressed through music where the human voice is at the center.
The performance begins with Beth Morrison, producer and artistic director of the New Opera and Theater PROTOTYPE festival in New York City, giving an introduction to David Lang's music.