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Inexplicable Beauty: The Crossroad between Sorrow and Hope

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Inexplicable Beauty: The Crossroad between Sorrow and Hope

The Little Match Girl Passion & Baroque Fantasies

Big Mouth musicians, along with dancers from STEPS PDX, will present the 2008 Pulitzer Prize winner for music, David Lang’s The Little Match Girl Passion. Scored for choir, soloists, and percussion, Lang tells the Hans Christian Andersen story of a poor child whose abusive father forces her to sell matches on the street. On New Year’s Eve, shoeless, sick and nearly delirious, the girl freezes to death. Her body is found the next morning.

In the composers’ own words, “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.”

The second half of the program will feature our artist-in-residence this year, Peter Lim. Peter Lim is a quickly rising star in the early music world, and his musical prowess includes playing harpsichord, piano, recorders, modern and baroque oboes, and singing. Peter will present a dazzling display of virtuosity, nuance, grace, and joy through the music of several baroque masters who wrote their music in the crossroad of sorrow and hope.


Big Mouth Society vocal ensembles (Emily Lau, director)

STEPS PDX dancers (Kathryn Harden, director)

Peter Lim, soloist

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