David Lang's PRISONER OF THE STATE To Be Released in June
The New York Philharmonic and Music Director Jaap van Zweden's World Premiere performances of David Lang's prisoner of the state will be released in digital and physical formats on June 26, 2020, on Decca Gold, Universal Music Group's US classical music label. The album is available for preorder and the aria "I was a woman" is now available to stream, both here. The release will mark Decca Gold's sixth New York Philharmonic album.
The New York Philharmonic premiered David Lang's prisoner of the state in June 2019, conducted by Jaap van Zweden and featuring soprano Julie Mathevet (The Assistant); tenor Alan Oke (The Governor); baritone Jarrett Ott (The Prisoner); bass-baritone Eric Owens (The Jailer); tenors Matthew Pearce and John Matthew Myers, baritone Steven Eddy, and bass-baritone Rafael Porto (Guards); and Men of the Concert Chorale of New York, Chorus Master Donald Nally (Chorus of Prisoners). With a libretto by the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer that self-consciously refers to Beethoven's opera, Fidelio - and incorporates Machiavelli, Jeremy Bentham, and Hannah Arendt, among other influences - prisoner of the state tells the story of a woman who disguises herself as a prison guard to rescue her husband from unjust political imprisonment. It was co-commissioned by the New York Philharmonic in collaboration with Rotterdam's de Doelen, London's Barbican, Barcelona's l'Auditori, Bochum Symphony Orchestra, Bruges's Concertgebouw, and Malmö Opera.
Premiered as a fully staged production directed by Elkhanah Pulitzer, prisoner of the state was part of the Philharmonic's Music of Conscience, three weeks of concerts and events exploring the ways in which composers have used music to respond to the social and political issues of their times.
The New York Philharmonic launched its partnership with Decca Gold in February 2018 with the release of Jaap van Zweden and the Philharmonic's performances of Beethoven's Symphonies Nos. 5 and 7. Subsequent releases include Sing Happy (May 2018), featuring Audra McDonald's 2018 Spring Gala performance; live performances of Stravinsky's Le Sacre du printemps and Debussy's La Mer (February 2019) from Music Director Jaap van Zweden's opening weeks; Soloists of the New York Philharmonic (May 2019), featuring concertos performed by Concertmaster Frank Huang, Principal Viola Cynthia Phelps, Principal Flute Robert Langevin, Principal Clarinet Anthony McGill, and Principal Trombone Joseph Alessi; and the World Premiere performance of Julia Wolfe's Grammy-nominated Fire in my mouth (August 2019).