Compare Offers on Amazon
|Price:||CDN$ 18.59 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details|
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
|1. Symphony No. 3 Op. 36 (1976): I. Lento - Sostenuto Tranquillo Ma Cantabile - H. GORECKI|
|2. Symphony No. 3 Op. 36 (1976): II. Lento e Largo - Tranquillissimo - H. GORECKI|
|3. Symphony No. 3 Op. 36 (1976): III. Lento - Cantabile Semplice - H. GORECKI|
Upshaw/London Symphony Orchestra. This recording went to the top of the Pop charts in England, and it's been at the top of our classical chart for 17 weeks last time we looked!
This album, which catapulted Polish composer Henryk Górecki to into the international spotlight, takes texts born in pain and turns them into statements of affirmation through the use of music that ebbs and flows in mystic minimalism. The clear voice of soprano Dawn Upshaw, singing the Polish texts, is a large part of the success of this particular recording, but the music, contemporary without either dissonance or movie-music mawkishness, clarifies and uplifts the words. This is a moving and essential element of the modern repertoire. --Sarah Bryan Miller
Top Customer Reviews
I recommend this version over the alternatives for four reasons. First, the price is unbeatable. Second, I believe the performance is marginally better than its competitors. Third, the remarkable singing of Zofia Kilanowicz. Fourth, unlike some recordings of this symphony, the disc contains not only the symphony itself, but "Three Olden Style Pieces," which while not as interesting as the main piece are not without interest. In short, this disc features the best performance, is offered at the best price, and contains more music than its competitors.
I do want to question the logic behind one of the other reviews. A reviewer from Derbyshire has expressed his belief that this music is somehow intellectually inferior and that its effects can be as harmful as a drug. I'm sure this was meant hyperbolically, but even granting this, this seems to me to indicate some confusion. In fact, the point is confusedly made. He grants that in Ravel (in the Bolero, a piece that I like not only less than most of the rest of Ravel's corpus but far less than the Gorecki) repetition is effective, and also in Beethoven.Read more ›
The symphony is in three slow-moving sections, all labeled "Lento" and with heartbreaking texts. As a sample, here are the words to the second movement, based on a message found scrawled on a Gestapo prison cell wall in 1944 by an 18-year-old girl:
No, Mother, do not weep,
Most chaste Queen of Heaven
Help me always.
The music accompanying these sometimes agonizingly sad words is shining, gleaming, radiant -- transforming what could be heard as unremitting despair into something more spiritually uplifting. Dawn Upshaw, singing in Polish, sounds gorgeous here, with the simple purity of her voice adding a great deal to David Zinman's unforced interpretation of the work. The renowned London Sinfonietta plays with a delicacy that suits the music, and the recording quality allows all this transparent peacefulness to shine through.
Those familiar with Arvo Pärt or John Tavener's slow-moving, spiritual style should find this work quite rewarding. (Note to prospective Gorecki fans: his style is eclectic, and not all of his work is as placid as this piece.)
I actually prefer this version of the symphony more than any others I've heard, as the really slow tempo enhances the overall power of the piece. A clean recording and wonderful presentations also compliment the music within, as well as some terrific linear notes that provide both information on the composer and "The Symphony Of Sorrowful Songs", Symphony no. 3.
Although(and because) it is extremely slow and repetitious, this symphony will have a memorable effect on you the first time you listen to it. Unlike other music which you have to listen to several times before you come to enjoy it, this piece will immediately get to you. It is so different from any music I have ever heard, yet so easy to understand. Also, the soprano sings Polish, which I think is the perfect language to use for this symphony. It fits the mood of the music perfectly, and is penetrating due to its beautiful use of consonants.
I proudly recommend this music to everyone who is willing to listen to a new kind of music, and say that if this symphony indeed crosses my boundaries of musical tolerance by employing minimalism and tone clusters, it is a grand exception.
Most recent customer reviews
As a young composer/listener of classical music, few pieces have inspired me like Symphony of Sorrowful Songs. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Amazon Customer
I heard part of this on the radio, and fell in love with it. I understand from the literature enclosed that it has sad history based on the Second World War and loss, But I found... Read morePublished on Feb. 3 2014 by red zonal
This is an outstanding recording of a sublime piece of musical writing.But make sure you are in the mood for something that is very subtle and does not end loudly. Read morePublished on Oct. 16 2012 by pansonne
Electra Nonsuch, a division of Warner Communications, released a CD several years ago of such power, reverence and intensity that it deserves a second look in 2004. Read morePublished on July 10 2004 by OperaOnline.us
I'm a huge fan of Dawn Upshaw and bought this CD without knowing anything about it. I'll admit that I wasn't blown away by it - at first. I thought: what is this? Read morePublished on June 26 2004 by I. Sondel
There are people who will hate this cd, and people who will love it. It all depends on what music is about. Read morePublished on Feb. 18 2004 by A. Reader
not saying anything much about this music, plenty has been said on that, but if the classical music industry would open its eyes and look at the way this living composer's music... Read morePublished on Feb. 13 2004
I just heard this symphony yesterday for the first time and I couldn't believe my ears. It is without a doubt one of the worst pieces of music I have ever heard. Read morePublished on Jan. 30 2004 by Gary M. Smith