KoorbiŽnnale 2019 : David Lang - the public domain

The Dutch KoorbiŽnnale 2019 is a rather prestigious vocal event. This year the performance of 'the public domain' by composer David Lang was programmed. And right away for two performances. One in the middle of the Dutch Financial District in Amsterdam and one in a residential area in the south of Haarlem. David Lang wrote the piece for a very large group of vocalists, both professionals and non-professionals.

The Choir

A piece from 2016, which was co-commisioned by the KoorbiŽnnale. The title refers to what we have in common, thus making the text universal. Under the guidance of Peter Dijkstra and several conductors groups of singers sung and sometimes acted. I was present at the performance in Haarlem, July 6th. Because of the forecasted rain the performance started fifteen minutes early. And management provided green rain ponchos to the performers. But in spite of that it was: singing in the rain. The vocalist were divided into groups and sung canon like and for some sequences unisono. While also underlining the text with some acts. Although the text is fully in English some words were shouted in Dutch.

David Lang and Choir members

The performance drew a massive applause. Also applauding was David Lang himself. David told afterwards:"It was not my intention to change to local language in the piece. Actually the text is entirely in English. But it is OK. In Germany the performance was German only." Again a major feat of Artistic director Neil Wallace to convince the composer to be present.