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David Lang

Publisher: G. Schirmer

world to come (2003)
Red Poppy
Solo Works (excluding keyboard)
Year Composed
24 Minutes
Programme Note
David Lang world to come (2003)
Related Work:
   concerto (world to come) — cello and orchestra

Composer's Note:
A cellist and her voice become separated from each other, and they struggle to reunite in a post-apocalyptic spiritual environment. world to come is a kind of prayer—introspective and highly personal. It is a meditation on hope and hopelessness, asking fundamental questions about the death and life of the soul.

world to come was written for Maya Beiser and commissioned by Carnegie Hall, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, UC Santa Cruz Arts & Lectures, On the Boards, and Connecticut College, with support from Meet The Composer.

—David Lang

Sample Pages

  • Decca International:
  • 15 OCT 2019
    Carolina Performing Arts UNC, Chapel Hill, NC
    Islandia Music

    Other Dates:
    31 July; 1-4 August - Jacob's Pillow, Beckett, MA
    18,19 October - UCLA Royce Hall, Los Angeles, CA
    22-24,26,27 October - The Joyce Theater, New York, NY
    6 November - Williams Center, Easton, PA
    6,7 December - The Kennedy Center, Washington, DC
  • 30 NOV 2019
    Opera de Rennes / Rennes / France
    Orchestre du Conservatoire
    Gonzalo Bustos, conductor

    Other Dates:
    1 December - Opera de Rennes / Rennes / France
  • 18 JAN 2020
    OZ Arts, Nashville, TN
    Islandia Music
    Maya Beiser, Cello, Lucinda Childs, Choreographer

    Other Dates:
    27,28 February - Herbst Theatre, San Francisco, CA
    7,10,11 April - Dartmouth, The Hopkins Center, Hanover, NH
    24-26 April - ICA Boston, Boston, MA
  • 07 MAY 2020
    Shakespeare Sonette; Choreography by Marc Jubete, Aleix Martínez and Edvin Revazov
    Hamburg, Germany

    Other Dates:
    16,18,28 June 2019; 20,21 September 2019; 8 May; 21 June - Hamburg, Germany
  • 06 JUN 2020
    Leipzig, Germany
    Cayetano Soto, choreographer

    Other Dates:
    14,21 June; 3 July - Leipzig, Germany

It's a haunting, extraordinarily profound work. Lang evokes Bach's Cello Suites in the arpeggiated figurations with which it opens. The cello's introduction of a slow-moving canon that passes through the orchestral strings initiates a process in which the unity of soloist and orchestra begins to dissolve. A third section draws us towards extremes of rhythmic and harmonic dislocation, though the Bach-like figurations return to usher in, briefly, a mood of calm resignation before there is a sudden lurch, mid-arpeggio, into silence. Beiser's restrained playing was integral to its impact; it's a major score that deserves repeated hearings.
Tim Ashley, The Guardian,26/02/2014
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