APERIO, Music of the Americas presents a unique multimedia program featuring recent and world premiere works for voice, piano and percussion by American composers David Lang and Shawn Crouch. The program begins with David Lang’s 2008 Pulitzer Prize winning oratorio The Little Match Girl Passion. Scored for only four solo voices - soprano, alto, tenor, and bass with additional percussion played by the vocal ensemble - the music traverses a cathartic experience of suffering and transformation told through Hans Christen Andersen’s fantastically dark children’s tale by the same name.
Considered a pivotal piece in Lang’s recent output, The Little Match Girl Passion signifies an inward looking compositional style that embraces historical precedents such as Bach’s choral works and a capella motets. Washington Post music critic Tim Page described the work as “a pristine and immaculately distilled setting…deeply felt without ever delving into sentimentality, absolutely simple yet leaving nothing out.” Pitchfork Magazine praised The Little Match Girl Passion as “the most profound and resonant work of Lang’s career” describing the music as “breathtakingly spare and icily gorgeous.”