Friday, November 12, 2010

RIP Henryk Gorecki

The Polish composer Henryk Gorecki has died, as Jack told me via email. It's sad news, as with any artist whose work you like a lot.

His third symphony, the "Symphony of Sorrowful Songs", was made into an astonishingly popular crossover album by Dawn Upshaw and David Zinman on the Nonesuch label (as Jack also noted, it's surprising that the work is so rarely programmed, given that burst of popularity). That work's second movement would be the obvious elegy but here instead is the second movement of his harpsichord concerto: I've always liked him best for his odd, celestial sense of musical humor, which frequently and arbitrarily flips for me, the way an optical illusion does, into spiritual seriousness.


Blogger Pete said...

I think Gorecki's 3rd Symphony is one of the most popular things that I ever admit to liking.

Well stated in your last sentence, Nate.

11/12/2010 12:00 PM  

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