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A Pulitzer-winning passion comes Charlotte's way

Oct 6, 2016

You may have doubts about making plans when a Friday the 13th is involved, but Thursday the 13th will be a lucky day: You can hear the local premiere of a Pulitzer Prize-winning choral piece, sung by the Charlotte Symphony Chamber Singers in an hour-long concert.

American composer David Lang the 2008 Pulitzer for a 35-minute work, "The Little Match Girl Passion." It's based on Hans Christian Andersen's tragic fairy tale but incorporates other sources, including the biblical gospel of Matthew.

Pulitzer juror Tim Page said "(T)he strength of the story lies not in its plot, but in the fact that the horror and the beauty are constantly suffused with their opposites....I don't think I've ever been so moved by a new and largely unheralded composition as I was by (this), which is unlike any music I know." The recording on Harmonia Mundi won a Grammy Award for best small ensemble performance.
If you know Lang's name, perhaps you heard it at the Oscars this winter: He was nominated in the best song category for "Simple Song #3" from "Youth." Even if you don't know Lang, you'll have heard of the evening's other composer: Johann Sebastian Bach, whose music has been used in more than 1,100 movies. The full chorus did his St. Matthew Passion two years ago; Kenney Potter, who sang Judas in that version and directs the singers, will round out the Oct. 13 program with excerpts from that piece.

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at Ascension Lutheran Church, 1225 E. Morehead St.

Tickets are $15.

By Lawrence Toppman, Charlotte Observer

Full story here.