Symphony #3 CD
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|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
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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.
Words cannot take you to the place that just listening can. I still find it difficult to believe that this work is rarely performed in the concert hall. This is the balm so needed in our world today, as much so as at the time the words of the mother of a holocaust victim sung here were written. A finer gift you could not give yourself ....or a friend.
Most recent customer reviews
As a young composer/listener of classical music, few pieces have inspired me like Symphony of Sorrowful Songs. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
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
When I first picked out this CD at a local library, I thought I was being very brave. I had never heard of Henryk Gorecki, and his symphony was dated from 1976. Read morePublished on April 19 2004
I first heard this music on NPR and sat at my desk at work weeping. I called the station and they told me they always received the most calls after they played it from people like... Read morePublished on Feb. 29 2004 by Shari Hoover
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