Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Jacaranda Music presents The Little Match Girl Passion

------------Cedric Berry, 
Grant Gershon, Adriana Manfredi, Elissa Johnston -- Photo: jacarandamusic

Short Take Review by Rodney Punt

Composer/Librettist David Lang’s The Little Match Girl Passion (2007) is a winter’s tale without a happy ending. Based on the H.C. Andersen tearjerker, a beggar girl is forced to sell matches in the snow, lighting them one by one in a losing battle to keep warm. The setting elevates the story to a universal secular passion, with music of pointillistic brightness and mesmerizing grace. The music has traces of minimalism and chant; its utmost economy of motifs treads an inexorable path from the dread of a flickering heartbeat to a death in frozen stillness.

Its cast of four singing narrators did double duty as eerie trance-inducers and light-as-a-feather percussionists: Elissa Johnston, soprano; Adriana Manfredi, mezzo-soprano; 
Grant Gershon, tenor
; Cedric Berry, bass baritone.

The concert also had other genre-bending works: Elliott Carter’s spidery Sonata for flute, oboe, cello & harpsichord, Sofia Gubaidulina’s oddly-registered pulsing sonics for organ in Light & Darkness, Joan Tower’s big-boned Night Fields for string quartet, and Alfred Schnittke’s goofy-glorious Sound & Resound for organ and trombone.

Performers in other works above: Pamela Vliek-Martchev, flute; Leslie Reed, oboe; Timothy Loo, cello; Gloria Cheng, harpsichord; Mark Alan Hilt, organ; Lyris Quartet (strings), Steve Suminski, trombone

Concert Title: Perilous Balance
Date: January 22, 2011
Venue: First Presbyterian, Santa Monica
Future concerts: Jacaranda Music

Rodney Punt can be contacted at


historypak said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roman lesnar said...

This kind of message continually inspiring and that i favor to examine nice content material, so happy to find correct place to many right here inside the post, the writing is just notable, thanks for the put up. events for tribute said...

Pianist Mark Robson, a everyday Jacaranda soloist and ensemble participant, become instrumental in creating Jacaranda. His 2002 “global-magnificence” performance of Messiaen showed the capacity of our superb and acoustically great venue. Robson and Vanhauwaert will be a part of forces on pianos for the conflict and epiphany of John Adams’ autobiographical Hallelujah Junction, now not heard earlier than at Jacaranda. The Grammy-winning Pianist Gloria Cheng has played on every season, and finished Adams’ huge Phrygian Gates on our 8-hour Pan-American music Marathon to remarkable crucial and target audience acclaim. She has helped hooked up the excessive fashionable for which Jacaranda is understood. Best Ringtone Free