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Symphony #3 CD

4.7 out of 5 stars 94 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 19 1992)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B000005J1C
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 94 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #10,483 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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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

Product Description

Product Description

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!

Amazon.ca

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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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This disc is truly the best of both worlds: an amazingly cheap (cheap! not merely affordable) classical disc of a fascinating piece of musical magnificently performed. Despite the presence of premium priced versions of this haunting piece of music (as well as at least one other very good bargain version), Antoni Wit directing the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra manages to outshine the competition. I knew two previous versions of this before, the famous Nonesuch with David Zinman and Dawn Upshaw, and the Philips with Joanna Kozlowska undertaking the vocals.
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.
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Format: Audio CD
When this recording emerged in the early 1990's, it not only shot to the top of the classical charts, but to the top of some pop charts as well, an unusual phenomenon. It's not hard to see why; the composer's simple, but eloquent language here speaks to many types of listeners, even those who might not usually listen to so-called "serious" classical music.
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.
Hail Mary.
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.)
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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 the music so soothing and relaxing and thought provoking too. I would recomend this to anyone who would like "space" from this harried world.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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. You will be taken on a very rewarding musical journey and when you complete it, feel refreshed.
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Format: Audio CD
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? However, I found myself drawn to it again and again. Now I find myself becoming increasingly emotional while listening to it. It's very affecting music. Upshaw's voice seems a gift from Heaven. Buy it - listen to it - give it an opportunity to soak in - you'll come to cherish it. I did.
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Format: Audio CD
For quite some time, this has been one of my most played albums. Henryk Gorecki certainly possesses the power to pen some very moving, albiet dreary symphonies, while disregarding the bouncy aesthetics of most composers, and, in turn, utilizing more emotion and less pretense. What words would be best used to describe such a piece? Brilliant, yes. Sorrowful, definitely.
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.
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By Grady Harp TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 7 2002
Format: Audio CD
This recording of the Gorecki Symphony of Sorrowful Songs always comes into mind whenever I want to gift a friend with truly meaningful music. Ever since it was first released this wondrous composition has held a high place in my collection. Quite simply stated, this is music so unfettered by dissection into School or Type that it comes as close if not closer to pure music as most works by the acknowledged masters. This Symphony No. 3 is an elegy and a eulogy and a series of sighs that translate the unspeakable suffering poets try to describe. In a seemless, pulsating, breathing series of three movements Gorecki has found the core of the soul and has shared that with us, in this case through the gifts of conductor David Zinman and soprano Dawn Upshaw.
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.
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