David Lang: The Little Match Girl Passion
Composed by: David Lang
Lang’s little match girl passion successfully walks tightropes between sacred traditions and secular times, icy remoteness and striking candor. The piece originated in Lang’s desire to repurpose the imagery and emotions of the great sung Passions of Christ for a modern and not-necessarily-Christian audience. For this, he turned to Hans Christian Andersen’s 1844 short story about a dying and forgotten child. The beautiful ninth movement, “have mercy, o god” tells you everything you need to know about how Lang set about this project, and why it was successful.