Together with harpist Lavinia Meijer, Wishful Singing is creating a concert around one of the key pieces of American composer David Lang: The Little Match Girl Passion. Hans Andersen’s fairytale tells the heart-wrenching story of the girl who lights her very last match (which she is supposed to sell) to get some warmth in the cold winter night. David Lang won the Pulitzer Prize for his beautiful setting for choir and percussion. Lavinia Meijer has made world-wide acclaimed arrangements for harp of several pieces by Philip Glass. Now, David Lang has endorsed her arrangement for harp and five women’s voices of his composition.
We combine this modern classic with another classic for women’s voices and harp, Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols. Britten wrote this work in 1942 on his sea voyage from the United States to England, on a ship that was tracking German submarines. It is one of the most multi-facetted and enchanting compositions in the Christmas repertoire for choirs.
What drew me to The Little Match Girl is that the strength of the story lies not in its plot but in the fact that all its parts—the horror and the beauty—are constantly suffused with their opposites. The girl’s bitter present is locked together with the sweetness of her past memories; her poverty is always suffused with her hopefulness. There is a kind of naive equilibrium between suffering and hope.David Lang on Hans Andersen's fairy tale 'The Little Match Girl'
Harpist Lavinia Meijer performs solo concerts in venues worldwide from Carnegie Hall NYC to the Berlin Philharmonie, being one of the most important, pioneering and exciting musicians of our times.
Born in South Korea and adopted at the age of 2, Lavinia Meijer is now based in the Netherlands. At only 9 years old, she started to play the harp. Her passion to broaden the possibilities of the harp is noteworthy. Not only does she search for rare classical solo & orchestral repertoire, she is also always on the alert for contemporary music possibilities, performing together with Òlafur Arnalds and others. She performs pieces by Radiohead in classical venues, to great artistic & critical acclaim and enjoys commercial success for her albums. Ms Meijer tours extensively all over the world in classical and rock venues and at outdoor festivals. She has received numerous awards, including 2 gold discs and a certified platinum disc for the album Metamorphosis / The Hours with pieces by the acclaimed American composer, Philip Glass. Lavinia Meijer is the only classical artist to have hit the top 10 in the Dutch rock album charts with three consecutive albums.
photo © Anne Claire de Breij