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Górecki: Symphony no 3 "Symphony of Sorrowful Songs" / Donald Runnicles, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Album Summary

>Gorecki, Henryk M. : Symphony no 3, Op. 36 ("Symphony of Sorrowful Songs")
Performer Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Written in 1976, the symphony, which is also known as the "Symphony of Sorrowful Songs," is a setting of three Polish texts with the theme of separation through war: The first is a 15th century Polish lament in which Mary speaks to her son Jesus as he is dying; the second is a message written on the wall of a Gestapo cell by a teenage girl during the Second World War; and the third is a folk song in which a mother grieves for her son killed in the Silesian uprisings. The symphony marked a change in compositional style for Górecki, who was previously identified as a member of the modernist wing of European music that was prone to compositions constructed of clashing sound masses and serially ordered elements. The symphony's simplicity, chant-like melodic nature and largely consonant harmonies took many listeners and critics by surprise.

BBC Music Magazine
G=recki's Symphony of Sorrowful Songs... was popular in Poland but remained largely unknown elsewhere until the recording by the London Sinfonietta under David Zinman was released in 1992. The perfection of that interpretation casts a daunting shadow, but Runnicles, Brewer and the Atlanta SO have staked out their own territory admirably. The first movement is nearly four minutes faster than Zinman's but works superbly. Brewer's rich voice and subtle inflections are sufficiently personal to distinguish her equally fine interpretation from Upshaw's, and at times there is an edge that will appeal to anyone who found the earlier recording to be perhaps just a little too celestial.



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Works Details

>Henryk Mikolaj Górecki (Composer) (1933 - 2010) : Symphony no 3, Op. 36 ("Symphony of Sorrowful Songs")
  • Performer: Christine Brewer (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Donald Runnicles
  • Ensemble: Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 49 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1976