The Luminescence Chamber Singers are all set to perform in Goulburn this week.
Canberra's professional vocal ensemble will perform David Lang's The Little Match Girl Passion, as well as music by Victoria, Gesualdo, Casali, and Pierre de la Rue in the upcoming program on Wednesday, April 21.
The five core singers of the ensemble are AJ America, Dan Walker, Veronica Milroy, Rachel Mink and Jack Stephens.
"Our ensemble grew from a largely student-based ensemble into a professional organisation and group, and Luminescence did one concert in Goulburn in around 2013. We are really excited to be returning after a long time, and to be collaborating for the first time with the Hume Conservatorium," AJ America said.
Artistic Director AJ America said that the upcoming concert is about Passiontide music, one of the most well-known musical forms.
"It usually narrates and reflects on the final days of Jesus Christ's life: his betrayal, his agony, and crucifixion. In David Lang's Passion, Jesus's suffering is substituted with the anguish and neglect of a lesser-known protagonist, Hans Christian Andersen's Little Match Girl," she said.
Based on Andersen's 1845 tale, The Little Match Girl passion tells the sad story of a young girl who freezes to death, selling matches on the street on a cold winter's night.
Afraid to return home having sold no matches, she seeks refuge on the streets and imagines scenes of warmth, comfort, and safety, a large iron stove to warm her, a beautiful Christmas tree and her grandmother. As each match burns out, her visions vanish. When eventually she perishes, her grandmother carries her up into heaven.
"Lang's passion is structurally modelled on J.S. Bach's Saint Matthew's Passion. It alternates between the central narrative and the responses of onlookers. We hear Andersen's story narrated, and then there are interspersed chorales that reference those St Matthew's Passion very closely.
"Where traditional Easter Passions urge us to recognise Jesus' suffering, Lang asks us to see the suffering all around us; a suffering that takes modern and secular forms," she added.
"David Lang's piece has won the much-coveted Pulitzer Prize in 2008, and has been widely acclaimed, but is not so often performed in Australia."
Apart from Lang's work, the ensemble will sing some beautiful music from the 16th century, music by Spanish composer Toms Luis de Victoria and Italian composer Carlo Gesualdo as well as music by Pierre De La Rue.
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