“Dark poetry; tragic exuberance!” Poland has been always a land of courageous and untamed spirit; stubborn to any single bit of domination. This territory has given sublime artists. Gorecki is one of the last exponents; even he was born just in the final of the WW2.
His famous Third Symphony is widely known all around the world and constituted definitively a mass phenomena, its consecration and full acceptation. Gorecki employed an admirable sense of the musical texture inviting us to imagine an enormous birch’s forest with astonishing austerity of means economy in what orchestration concerns. This music suggests me the kaleidoscopic awakening of slept centuries under the history ’s carpet. Ancestral sorrows, delirious visions with that contemplative gaze in the mirror ’s memory. In this Christmas, it is a magnificent chance to listen it once more.
This is possibly the most idiomatic version recorded until this date. Wit made no concessions of any kind. The reading is marvelous and heartf…
The current Schwann catalog lists nine versions of G¨®recki’s phenomenally popular Symphony 3 (Sorrowful Songs) composed in 1976. During his early career, G¨®recki embraced serialism and concentrated on instrumental sonorities in the vein of Messiaen. But in Symphony 3, his atonality disappears into a strategy of gently mounting thematic pitches, taking the strings through all possible registers. All three movements are marked lento, rare for any symphony. The Elektra Nonesuch recording has tended to be the bestseller, but give this Naxos release a try–it’s just as good. The sound is excellent and the performances are above reproach. –Paul Cook
Excellent vocals, beautiful music, tempo a tad slow
Having played the Upshaw version enough times to burn a hole in the CD, my sensibilities for this piece have been certainly biased. However, I find Kilanowisz’s approach (on Naxos) more powerful in it’s natural, non-operatic style. It is the pacing of the orchestra that lets me down in the Naxos recording. The subtle nuances as this music shifts from one theme to the next are done so beautifully on the Elektra release that, for me, the superior direction of the London Sinfonietta outweighs the exquisite singing of Zofia Kilanowicz. Both versions are worth having though and the second movement of the Naxos rendition is perhaps the most transcendental 10 minutes of music I’ve ever heard. Because I love this symphony so much, I’m sure I’ll buy other recordings of it and I can’t wait for the opportunity to hear it live….
this is important
gorecki’s third is, to quote one of my old professors, ‘heartbreakingly beautiful’. the raw, emotive phrases make the hair stand on end; the grayest windy-city mornings assume redemptively tragic proportions when this is your soundtrack.
i prefer this version to every other that i’ve heard, including the much-hyped, but kinda flat, nonesuch version with dawn upshaw. i’m uncertain about squishy notions like ‘national character’, but this presentation, performed by polish citizens, eclipses the exercise-like renditions of their american and british counterparts in depth and power. each movement develops slowly, taking its time and giving the listener an opportunity to find the right headspace. wit or whoever recorded this performance also downplayed the unnecessary french horn lines and gave more attention to the piano – the result is a much more striking and poignant piece….
Among the greatest Classical compositions