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A Cappella Choral Fixation

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Much exposure to New Music these days comes in the form of invented or electronically enhanced instruments and experimental mash-ups of seemingly distinct genres. It's less frequent that you hear of innovation in a genre as long-established as a cappella choral music. However, in this episode of Cued Up on Q2, we explore two concerts from contemporary composers Arvo Pärt, Veljo Tormis and David Lang who have forged idiosyncratic voices in writing uniquely for choir and, in doing so, opened new vistas to what the choral music of the 21st century sounds like. 

We first hear the Latvian National Choir under the direction of Estonian maestro Tõnu Kaljuste performing works by Arvo Pärt, Veljo Tormis and Frank Martin as recorded at Lincoln Center's Kaplan Penthouse as part of the inaugural White Light Festival.

The second half of the program presents a recital by Harold Rosenbaum's New York Virtuoso Singers presenting the U.S. choral premiere of David Lang's 2008 Pulitzer Prize-winning Little Match Girl Passion as recorded live in The Greene Space at WQXR on November 8, 2009. This concert was hosted by WNYC's John Schaefer and features an interview with David Lang himself.