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Notes and Editorial Reviews
Symphony No. 3,
“Symphony of Sorrowful Songs
3 Pieces in Old Style
Yuri Simonov, cond;
Susan Gritton (sop); Royal PO
ROYAL PHILHARMONIC MASTERWORKS 28260 (63:21)
The Third Symphony of Górecki became something of a phenomenon a while back. It seemed to be everywhere; Górecki (whose surname emerged in a multiplicity of pronunciations) was
the name on everybody’s lips, and a huge number of people who did not think they were connected to serious music suddenly had their eyes and ears opened.
David Zinman and Donald Runnicles have both provided memorable readings of this score. The present release bears no recording information but a copyright notice from 2007 might indicate an approximate date. The key here is the “audiophile collection” part of the disc’s make-up. The recording is indeed mightily involving and all lines of the great, 28-minute first movement shine in their clarity. Yuri Simonov shapes the music intelligently. As the symphony moves to its conclusion and the music begins to glow, the recording really comes into its own.
Perhaps the disc’s greatest plus is the use of Susan Gritton as soloist. I have long held this singer in the highest regard. Despite Simonov’s excellence, she really does lift the performance to another plane when she enters in the first movement with the “Lamentation of Holy Cross Monastery.” The touching text for the second movement came from the wall of a cell in the Gestapo headquarters in Zakopane. Again it is Gritton’s eloquence that truly makes this performance special. It is a folk song that provides the text for the third movement (from the Opole region), a lament that centers on a mother’s grief for her child; Gritton again seems to zero in on the very heart of the poem.
Three Dances in Old Style
(1963) for strings consists of two slower dances framing a central, brisker one. The links in terms of compositional techniques to the later symphony in the first and third dances are clearly audible; the second is more animated and even teeters on the jolly (the final, quiet sustained chord comes as a delicious surprise). Again, the recording is very involving.
FANFARE: Colin Clarke
Works on This Recording
Pieces (3) in Old Style by Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1963; Poland
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Great series April 26, 2014
By William Schneider (Yaphank, NY) See All My Reviews
"This is but one cd in this set.I have the 30cd box as well as all the individual cd,s that were not in the box set.This audiophile collection is first rate and the performance and sound is great.The music is played on modern instruments and in the romantic style.It is warm and full and very well done. At full price this set should not be missed,at these sale prices it should absolutely not be missed."