Friday, November 12, 2010

Polish Composer Henryk Gorecki Dies At Age 76

Gorecki Symphony No. 3 "Sorrowful Songs" - Lento e Largo
(Soprano: Isabel Bayrakdaraian, Sinfonietta Cracovia, conducted by John Axelrod.
Taken from "HOLOCAUST - A Music Memorial Film from Auschwitz". For one of the first times since liberation, permission was granted for music to be heard in Auschwitz.)

"I think that people are moved by the simplicity — which does not mean simple-mindedness — and the prayerful intensity of the music. Quite extraordinary. The Symphony No. 3 touched people in a way that few pieces do, now or ever."
- Tim Page, Pulitzer Prize-winning critic and author, former dj on WNYC in New York who played an early, Polish recording of the symphony for American audiences.

"I will be extremely happy if some people 100 years from now would listen to some of my music. It's not a question of being famous and popular. It's a question of what you did and how you did it."
Henryck Gorecki on NPR in 1995

I painted today, as I often do, with the Polish composer Henryk Gorecki's haunting 3rd Symphony playing through my headphones. Satisfied with my progress for the day, I stopped, only to find that Gorecki had died today in Poland. I am grateful for the music that Gorecki has left us but mourn both his passing and the loss of future music that had yet to be finished.

Boosey & Hawkes, Gorecki's music publishing firm, noted that Gorecki left an unfinished Symphony No.4, commissioned jointly by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Southbank Centre along with The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association: Gustavo Dudamel, Music Director, and the ZaterdagMatinee, Dutch radio's classical music concert series in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw.

60"x49" oil on linen 1987
painting by Gregg Chadwick

Much more at:
Henryk Gorecki, Composer Of 'Symphony Of Sorrowful Songs,' Dies At Age 76
Boosey & Hawkes: Henryk Mikolaj Górecki dies in Katowice, aged 76


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