Personalities | Henryk Górecki | Contemporary | Classical
(On-rikh Gor’-rets-ke) 1933–2010
As a young composer, Górecki made a name for himself as a leading member of the Polish avant-garde in works such as Scontri (1960) for orchestra. During the following decade he moved towards a more emotionally expressive and modal musical language, incorporating elements of Polish traditional and sacred music. The Symphony No. 3 (Symphony of Sorrowful Songs, 1976) demonstrates a searing spiritual directness: the work gained a wide audience two decades later, when the recording conducted by David Zinman unexpectedly entered the album charts, selling over a million copies. Górecki is otherwise best known for his choral works, such as the Beatus Vir, performed on the visit of Pope John Paul II to Poland in 1979, the Miserere (1981) and Totus tuus (1987).
Symphony of Sorrowful Songs, Dawn Upshaw, London Sinfonietta (cond) David Zinman (Nonesuch/Warner)
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