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works

sun-centered (2022) 25'

chamber choir

Commissioned for the Tallis Scholars by Cal Performances, Carnegie Hall Corporation, Hopkins Center, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Stanford Live, Virginia Tech and Concertgebouw Bruges (Belgium).

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love fail (2012) 60'

Text by David Lang (after Lydia Davis, Marie de France, Gottfried von Strassburg, Béroul, Thomas of Britain and Richard Wagner)

SSAA playing simple percussion instruments

love fail was co-commissioned by The Brooklyn Academy of Music’s 2012 Next Wave Festival, The International Festival of Arts & Ideas, The John F. Kennedy Center Abe Fortas Memorial Fund, The Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, The Secrest Artists Series at Wake Forest University, and Hancher Performances at the University of Iowa. Movement 4, 'the wood and the vine', was commissioned by The Newman Center for the Performing Arts at University of Denver, The University of California at Riverside, and the Santa Fe Concert Association in Santa FE, NM. Movement 10, 'I live in pain', in a different version, was originally written for “TheCrossing,” Donald Nally, conductor.

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love fail – arr. female chorus (2012, rev. 2016) 60'

Text by David Lang (after Lydia Davis, Marie de France, Gottfried von Strassburg, Béroul, Thomas of Britain and Richard Wagner)

SSAA chorus (or 8 solo women singers) playing simple percussion instruments

The Brooklyn Academy of Music’s 2012 Next Wave Festival, The International Festival of Arts & Ideas, The John F. Kennedy Center Abe Fortas Memorial Fund, The Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, The Wake Forest University / Secrest Artists Series, and Hancher Performances at the University of Iowa

Program Note Libretto Recordings rent music score preview More Info

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news

love fail premieres at Yale

Lang’s newest work, love fail, premieres June 29 at the New Haven International Festival of Arts and Ideas. Performed by the legendary vocal ensemble Anonymous 4, love fail is an evening-length work that weaves together snippets of medieval courtly love narratives, short stories by MacArthur Fellow Lydia Davis, scraps from the libretto of Wagner’s opera Tristan and Isolde, and text by Lang himself.

Out of these sources, Lang has conjured a single story, in which two unnamed lovers meet each other, love each other, and lose each other—not necessarily in that order…

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‘death speaks’ CD released

“Art songs have been moving out of classical music in the last many years,” writes composer David Lang. “Indie rock seems to be the place where Schubert’s sensibilities now lie, a better match for direct story telling and intimate emotionality.”

Lang’s death speaks, along with his work depart, is released on Cantaloupe music on April 30.

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In death speaks — co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall and Stanford Lively Arts, and written for Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, Owen Pallett and Shara Worden — Lang explores art song with the help of a group of classically trained artists who made their careers in the indie rock world…

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