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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

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,2/26/2014
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