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Thread: Gorecki Symphony No. 3 Recordings

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    Default Gorecki Symphony No. 3 Recordings

    What is your favorite rendition of this masterful work?

    Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra? The London Sinfonietta?

    Or some other?

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    Member julide's Avatar
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    What's the point... i don't think any other performance will reveal anything about such a barren work.

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    Senior Member Bulldog's Avatar
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    I favor the London Sinfonietta with Dawn Upshaw on Nonesuch - scrumptious all-around. However, I've enjoyed every performance heard.

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    Senior Member Ekim the Insubordinate's Avatar
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    I am quite happy with my recording by Takuo Yuasa leading the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra on ABC Classics.

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    Senior Member Granate's Avatar
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    It's surprising that such a divisive symphony (it's very difficult to leave you indifferent) has no recording thread.

    For the firmly classical tradition and genuine Polish, I own and recommend the Antoni Wit CD (with other great minimalistic short pieces).

    If you can tolerate non-operatic voices on microphone, the Penderecki and Beth Gibbons recording is a landmark for its sound quality and arresting emotions brought up by the orchestra and especially the singer.



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    I have the Zinman/Upshaw and Wit/Kilanowicz already mentioned in this thread and think they are both absolutely excellent. I also got Kord/Koslowska on Decca a while back, but don't like the soprano's voice as much.

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    Senior Member Rogerx's Avatar
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    London Sinfonietta with Dawn Upshaw on Nonesuch.
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” ― Mark Twain

    "Liberté, égalité, fraternité"

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    I bonded early with Upshaw/Zinman/London Sinfonietta. I'll be listening to it for the rest of my life.

    That being said I am trying to branch out and hear some other recordings... and there are many of them. Wit on Naxos I'm sure is excellent; I was just thinking of buying a copy. I have Beth Gibbons w/ Penderecki and the Polish National RSO which I like for its brisker tempi and because I am a huge fan of her work with Portishead, but she is singing into a microphone which I suspect is a dealbreaker for some.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bluto32 View Post
    I have the Zinman/Upshaw and Wit/Kilanowicz already mentioned in this thread and think they are both absolutely excellent. I also got Kord/Koslowska on Decca a while back, but don't like the soprano's voice as much.
    Indeed, the different qualities - or any lack thereof - of the soprano voice, are essential in recordings of that work. There's a both intimate or more operatic dimension to the solo voice lines, so the demands for characterization and technique are quite high.
    Last edited by joen_cph; Oct-30-2020 at 12:55.

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    I'm sure there are many solid recordings of Gorecki's Symphony of Sorrowful Songs. After hearing the Upshaw/Zinman recording on classical radio, and purchasing that version, I never found it to be very satisfying and never felt the need to look elsewhere in order to get a different take on it.

    Symphony of Sorrowful Songs is a polarizing piece of music. People seem to to either love it or hate it. I became captivated by it right away, found it to be very powerful, and very sad yet beautiful, and that was BEFORE I even bothered to read the English translation of Polish lyrics. Symphony of Sorrowful Songs exemplifies the horror of war, as well as the mystery and the power of the mother-child bond.

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    So many insightful replies! I imagine I'll be absorbing and processing the input for a while. Aside from the two I mentioned (at the top), the only other I've listened to so far and since yesterday is the Takuo Yuasa, which, at first listen, seemed to possess a certain refreshing fiery energy?

    Yes, just the music itself (never mind the narrative) struck me as being very emotional (in the sad and somber sense) and so I was somewhat hesitant to post about it; I don't want to bring anybody down! I may even have to start another thread soon that asks What are people's favorite "happy" sounding string sonatas, or what have you, to balance this one out!

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    Quote Originally Posted by cello suite View Post
    So many insightful replies! I imagine I'll be absorbing and processing the input for a while. Aside from the two I mentioned (at the top), the only other I've listened to so far and since yesterday is the Takuo Yuasa, which, at first listen, seemed to possess a certain refreshing fiery energy?

    Yes, just the music itself (never mind the narrative) struck me as being very emotional (in the sad and somber sense) and so I was somewhat hesitant to post about it; I don't want to bring anybody down! I may even have to start another thread soon that asks What are people's favorite "happy" sounding string sonatas, or what have you, to balance this one out!
    Part of the task of creating great art and music is the way that extremes and contrasts can be experienced at once, as with light and dark, chaotic yet organized, passionate yet restrained, and sad but beautiful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by julide View Post
    What's the point... i don't think any other performance will reveal anything about such a barren work.
    Barren? I feel the work is quite rich. Listen again - maybe you've been hearing the wrong work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ekim the Insubordinate View Post
    I am quite happy with my recording by Takuo Yuasa leading the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra on ABC Classics.

    This is my favourite recording as well.

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    Senior Member Nereffid's Avatar
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    For the adventurous, there's saxophonist Colin Stetson's post-rock "reimagining" of the symphony - an album titled "Sorrow". I like it - it's certainly not a replacement for the original but a good piece in its own right.
    Mahler, Glass, Beethoven, Vaughan Williams, Wolfe, Liszt, Reich, Bach, Nyman, Schubert

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