Music for gracious living

What if you were holding a dinner party for friends, what would you include on your music playlist for the evening?

What about a selection of Classical music?

Something easy listening seems like a good choice right?

But then one courageous guest, who is new to classical music, might venture to ask, “How do you listen to this stuff?” “How does it all work?”

Where to begin, you might ask. How do you explain to a non-listener, what to listen for in classical music? In Music for Gracious Living for actor and string quartet (1992/96), our host welcomes us to his home and attempts to provide answers to some of these questions. Composed by David Lang (USA) and with text by Deborah Artman (USA), music and narrative is interwoven with theatrical detail. The work in six movements depicts the dinner scene in question, but Lang’s writing is more cerebral and haunting than your typical party background music. And at times the ensemble contributes to the dialogue with punctuating rhetoric and expressive repartee.


David Lang (b. 1957) is not only well-performed in America, his works are performed all over the world. His work is extensive; including opera, orchestral, chamber ensemble, solo works and film scores. He is also co-founder and co-artistic director of New York ensemble Bang on a Can. Not only prolific, he also has a string of accolades after his name, including a Pulitzer Prize for The Little Match Girl Passion, and his score for Paolo Sorrentino’s film Youth which earned Lang both an Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations in 2016. The Almeida Festival commissioned Music for Gracious Living for the Brindisi Quartet, who first performed the work in 1993 at the Almeida Opera Festival, London. The work was subsequently revised in 1996, commissioned by Sequitur.


david lang1

David Lang. Photo credit: Peter Serling 

This work, along with other works for accompanied narratives, will be featured in our up-coming concert on Saturday 22nd April. David Lang’s Music for Gracious Living will be performed by Vanessa Tammetta and Heloise Meisel (violins), Ella Brinch (viola), Steve Meyer (cello) and Nigel Turner-Carroll (actor).

Musical Tales

When: Saturday 22 April 2017, 6:00pm.

Where: Christ Church Lavender Bay, Corner of Walker and Lavender Streets, Lavender Bay.

For tickets and more information please visit ClassikOn

1 Comment

Filed under Concerts

One response to “Music for gracious living

  1. Pingback: Our Storytellers | sirius chamber ensemble

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s