In 2012, David Lang composed a work for the vocal quartet, Anonymous 4, all about the subject of love. He took, as his starting point, the many different retellings of the story of Tristan and Isolde and then put them next to stories by the contemporary author, Lydia Davis, which are also about love and honor between two people, but from a modern perspective that we can relate to today.
Fastforward to 2016 and Lang rearranged his work to suit a slightly larger ensemble: the nine-member women's chamber choir, Lorelei Ensemble (https://www.loreleiensemble.com/), led by Beth Willer. The group has just released their stellar recording of Lang's large-scale work on the Cantaloupe Music label and hopes to be able to tour the piece, as soon as live performances are safe for performers and audience members.
Through Lydia Davis's text, Love Fail offers a feminine perspective of love and relationships which is communicated beautifully through Lang's music and Lorelei's expressively rich sound. Until recently, repertoire composed specifically for women's ensembles has been lacking, both in volume and in subject matter. In this interview, Lang and Willer discuss reasons for this and talk about what makes music fulfilling specifically for women's choral ensembles.
More information about David Lang's Love Fail can be found here: https://davidlangmusic.com/music/love-fail