Gorecki: Symphony No.3

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Gorecki: Symphony No.3

Postby Molony » 03 Jan 2009, 22:16



One of the most moving and breathtaking pieces of modern classical music. I can remember seeing this performed on TV back in the 90s along with some awful images of the Holocaust. It has stayed with me ever since.

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Re: Gorecki: Symphony No.3

Postby Insouciant Western People » 03 Jan 2009, 23:51

I know it's a bit tarred with the brush of being a Classic FM favourite, and thus not very cool among the cognoscenti, but I wholly agree with Molony here. I cited it as one of my Desert Island Discs on here recently, because it moves me as few other pieces of music can - I'm talking the company of Miles Davis, Jacques Brel, Robert Wyatt, Berlin-era Bowie and Scott Walker here.

I only know the Dawn Upshaw & London Sinfonietta recording though. It's utterly beautiful, but I'd be intererested to know how any of you who've heard other versions think they compare.
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Re: Gorecki: Symphony No.3

Postby Sambient » 04 Jan 2009, 09:38

What Nick said.

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Re: Gorecki: Symphony No.3

Postby never/ever » 04 Jan 2009, 09:58

The Upshaw-version is the only one I have too and I love it. Sometimes it doesn't matter that a work like this gets chartbound and popular for whatever reason- I was glad it did. The second movement's one of the most amazing pieces of classical music I know. I've seen other recordings but they're on those cheap-ass labels (Naxos, Eloquence) and I'm not sure how those would compare.
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Re: Gorecki: Symphony No.3

Postby James R » 04 Jan 2009, 11:39

Nick wrote:I know it's a bit tarred with the brush of being a Classic FM favourite, and thus not very cool among the cognoscenti, but I wholly agree with Molony here. I cited it as one of my Desert Island Discs on here recently, because it moves me as few other pieces of music can - I'm talking the company of Miles Davis, Jacques Brel, Robert Wyatt, Berlin-era Bowie and Scott Walker here.

I only know the Dawn Upshaw & London Sinfonietta recording though. It's utterly beautiful, but I'd be intererested to know how any of you who've heard other versions think they compare.


I've not heard any of the alternate recordings, but I do recall being amazed to read that there'd been three different recordings of it before the Dawn Upshaw one that became such a hit about 15 years ago. I've never found an adequate explanation as to why that one succeeded where the other three failed...
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Re: Gorecki: Symphony No.3

Postby Insouciant Western People » 05 Jan 2009, 15:04

Never/Ever wrote:I've seen other recordings but they're on those cheap-ass labels (Naxos, Eloquence) and I'm not sure how those would compare.


I'd thought the same thing at first, but I have heard the Naxos version highly praised once or twice. With them, the fact that they're budget recordings tends to induce wariness, but actually I have a few of their CDs and they're uniformly excellent performances. The Naxos one of Philip Glass's Violin Symphony is particularly good. I think it's the City of Prague Philharmonia.

I wonder if the reason that they can sell them so cheap is that the Naxos recordings tend to be by Eastern European state-type orchestras, often recorded in the 80s. Maybe the fact that they were Eastern Bloc recordings means that Naxos don't have to pay much in the way of royalties, or something like that.
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Re: Gorecki: Symphony No.3

Postby Oscar » 05 Jan 2009, 16:19

The second part, "II. Lento E Largo - Tranquillissimo", is one of the most played tracks on my iTunes playlist. I'm sure it is becoming unfashionably overfamiliar but I never tire of it. I'm totally unhip about these things and would probably embarrass myself further by putting it alongside the likes of Tabula Rasa by Arvo Pärt and The Protecting Veil by John Tavener as my favourite classical pieces.

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Re: Gorecki: Symphony No.3

Postby Insouciant Western People » 05 Jan 2009, 16:22

Oscar wrote: I'm totally unhip about these things and would probably embarrass myself further by putting it alongside the likes of Tabula Rasa by Arvo Pärt and The Protecting Veil by John Tavener as my favourite classical pieces.


I'll stand proudly with you Oscar, I love those too. I have a couple of great Naxos Arvo Pärt CDs too, including that piece.
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Re: Gorecki: Symphony No.3

Postby Oscar » 05 Jan 2009, 16:32

Nick wrote:I have a couple of great Naxos Arvo Pärt CDs too, including that piece.
Let's hope you have "Spiegel im Spiegel" because if not then you must get it.

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Re: Gorecki: Symphony No.3

Postby Insouciant Western People » 05 Jan 2009, 16:43

Oscar wrote:
Nick wrote:I have a couple of great Naxos Arvo Pärt CDs too, including that piece.
Let's hope you have "Spiegel im Spiegel" because if not then you must get it.


I don't... yet. But I will now !
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Re: Gorecki: Symphony No.3

Postby petulant clarksville » 05 Jan 2009, 21:30

I love it, an astounding piece of music.

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Re: Gorecki: Symphony No.3

Postby the gorton gollum » 05 Jan 2009, 21:54

Naxos pay their artists a one-off fee, so they get no further royalties. At first they had a reputation for second-rate releases as they recorded a lot of repertoire very quickly to build up a catalogue ( especially true of the orchestral playing). However, in the last 10 years or so ( they've been going 20 ) a lot of really excellent recordings have been coming out with respected conductors such as Marin Alsop/Bournemouth, Vasily Petrenko/Liverpool Phil and David Lloyd-Jones/Royal Scottish National. Eloquence are the budget offshoot of Decca so those recordings are reissues of full price items. If you are interested in decent priced discs of unusual repertoire check out Hyperions Helios label at about six quid each.
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