In the Press
It’s by turns stirring and touching, in the way so much of Lang’s best music is.
Written to be performed even by people who cannot read music, it went a long way to capture the excitement, but also the fear, loneliness and confusion of being in a crowd.
Crowd Out was wonderfully received by audiences and critics alike! In addition to wonderful reviews of the Birmingham performances in national and regional titles, the work, participants and composer received a great deal of attention in the build up to world premiere at Millennium Point, including:
- Ivan Hewett of The Telegraph wrote a fantastic preview for the piece titled Are crowds always wise? having taken part in one of the rehearsals in the week leading up to the performances;
- Birmingham blogger and Crowd Out participant Annabel Clarke wrote a three-part blog on rehearsing and performing Crowd Out for Sinfini Music;
- And David Lang himself was invited to write an insightful article for The Guardian on how the piece came into being and the place of an individual within a crowd.
…but what was different from the olden days was the sheer commitment and expertise of these amateurs drawn from all over the Midlands, and who had been brilliantly prepared and rehearsed top-down from the directorship of Simon Halsey, no less. And there was a real structure to this piece, its theme of loneliness among crowds bringing to mind Holst’s Hymn of Jesus, and its central point a moving melodic confession.
Think of extraordinary pieces written for unaccompanied choirs and what bubbles up from the brain? Tallis’s 40-part soul-shaker Spem in Alium. For the cosmic voyagers among us, maybe Stockhausen’s Stimmung. Now there’s a new contender: David Lang’s Crowd Out, premiered on Sunday by 1,000 voices splayed over the atrium inside Birmingham’s eastside complex Millennium Point.