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Kate Molleson
Gramophone, October 2016

More poised four-voice a cappella, this time with chopped-up texts by Lydia Davis, Marie de France, Gottfried von Strassburg, Béroul, Thomas of Britain and Wagner. © 2016 Gramophone

Steve Holtje
Culture Catch, December 2014

Best New Classical Albums of 2014

There’s a gracefulness to Lang’s settings, even as his music deliberately makes listeners a bit uneasy, that absolutely entrances me. Female vocal quartet Anonymous 4 adeptly handles the hazards of Lang’s tricky and exposed lines, with their slippery dissonances and stark pauses. This album has been seen by some as a near-sequel to Lang’s masterpiece, The Little Match Girl Passion… but Love Fail has a very different impact, more intimate and personalized. It’s heartbreaking not in the historical-trope fashion of Passion, but in a this-could-happen-to-you-or-me way that makes it psychologically painful to attentively listen to…it’s lovely. © 2014 Culture Catch Read complete review

Geoffrey Norris
Gramophone, October 2014

With its mix of simplicity and complexity, Love Fail is both haunting and thought-provoking. © 2014 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Allen Gimbel
American Record Guide, September 2014

The singers of Anonymous 4 perform with elevated pathos. I’m not sure these pieces can stand on their own, but the net effect…is sublime. © 2014 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Daniel Coombs
Audiophile Audition, July 2014

Beautiful, mysterious, a bit disturbing and wonderful! © 2014 Audiophile Audition Read complete review

James Manheim, July 2014

Love Fail, like many of Lang’s other compositions, is somewhat unclassifiable, and in this lies its appeal. What sets it apart from the norm is the care with which it is shaped to take advantage of the multiple colors and sharp edges of Anonymous 4’s voices, and at times the sounds heard achieve the grail of being simple and uncanny at the same time. Like Lang’s other works, it will get your attention immediately, but it also has a real economy that is new and growing. Highly recommended. © 2014 Read complete review

Joshua Kosman
San Francisco Chronicle, June 2014

…“Love Fail” is sparingly scored for four voices—here the ethereal and willowy female quartet Anonymous 4—and it trades in a quasi-medieval harmonic language that at its best is utterly transfixing…this is a shadowy, patchwork collage on the subject of love. Lang’s texts are fragments drawn from various early tellings of the story…which he intersperses with impressionistic ultra-short stories by the American writer Lydia Davis. The result is engrossing, evocative and unsettlingly beautiful. © 2014 San Francisco Chronicle Read complete review

Vivien Schweitzer
The New York Times, June 2014

Anonymous 4 offers a graceful traversal through the mystical, somber and harmonically pungent work. © 2014 The New York Times Read complete review

Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, June 2014

…with David Lang’s Love Fail…there is a conjoinment of many different factors that makes me feel, after hearing the work and the inimitable Anonymous Four’s performance of it a number of times, that yes, this is good.

Minimalism, which this music both is and is beyond, must stand or fall on its musical content. And stand it does, Love Fail. It’s not just the Anonymous Four’s performance (they are supreme in handling early music), there is something ritualistic, chant-like about the music as it presents itself in time.

…I recommend this very much. There is a timelessness, a once-upon-a-timelessness that universal story telling can give you, only it hangs together as music extraordinarily well. © 2014 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review

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