Sydney Philharmonia Choirs | The Little Match Girl Passion
14 October 2023 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm AEDT$50 – $75
A modern reflection on a tragic fable – a passion for our time.
In a Sydney Philharmonia Choirs first, we’re presenting one of the most profound choral works of our time: David Lang’s Pulitzer prize-winning Little Match Girl Passion.
Lang takes Hans Christian Andersen’s dark tale – almost too despairing to be a children’s story – and views it through the lens of Bach’s St Matthew Passion, weaving its narrative of suffering and hope with commentary and reflections that heighten its emotional impact.
“There is no Bach in this piece,” says Lang, “and there is no Jesus.” Instead he substitutes the suffering of the Little Match Girl for Jesus’ suffering, “elevating her sorrow to a higher plane”.
Musically, The Little Match Girl Passion combines the clarity of unaccompanied voices with the antique aura of bells and drums, building a haunting sound world from the simplest of means. It’s impossible to hear this breathtaking music – this passion for our time – and be left unmoved.
To complement Lang’s 35-minute oratorio, we’ve chosen music for choir and piano by Australian composers Luke Byrne and Naomi Crellin. VOX will be perform this concert in the wonderful acoustics of Verbrugghen Hall at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
BYRNE Four Songs from Grimm’s
BYRNE The Six Swans
CRELLIN New Work*
LANG The Little Match Girl
Elizabeth Scott conductor
Luke Byrne piano
Sydney Philharmonia Chamber Orchestra