Composer David Lang’s The Little Match Girl Passion is based on the fairy-tale by Hans Christian Andersen. The connection between the suffering of Jesus and the suffering of the little match girl, who ends up freezing to death, is the central theme of this composition.
Musically, David Lang was inspired by Bach’s St Matthew Passion, in which the choir reacts reverently and emotionally to the last days ofJesus. The vocals and instrumentals, consisting of about four percussion instruments, such as a glockenspiel, give The Little Match Girl Passion a feel that is at times reminiscent of madrigals and Byzantine hymns. The Nederlands Kamerkoor, conducted by Peter Dijkstra, sings about the tragedy of the match girl who is eventually set free in death.
Two dancers, Ralitza Malehounova and Roisin Verheul add a layer to her story through the choreography of Neel Verdoorn who, just like David Lang, is fascinated by misery versus hope. David Lang, one of the founders of Bang on a Can, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for this piece in 2008.
Premiere 6 July 2017
Choreography Neel Verdoorn
Dance Ralitza Malehounova, Roisin Verheul
Composition David Lang
Performing musician Nederlands Kamerkoor
Conductor Peter Dijkstra
Photography Melle Meivogel