Symphony No. 4
January 15, 2016 3:02 PM   Subscribe

Perhaps you remember Henryk Górecki's Symphony No. 3 "Symphony Of Sorrowful Songs", which became a surprise international hit after a BBC DJ played its haunting first movement in its entirety one day, shocking and surprising everyone with its slowly building fugue of energy that peaked with the entrance of Dawn Upshaw's soprano voice and then slowly ebbed back down into nothingness again like a musical palindrome. Well, now for something completely different: NPR brings us the a First Listen to the posthumously completed (by his son, from a piano score with notes for orchestration) Symphony No. 4, "Tansman Episodes", which NPR says "pounds, growls, swaggers and confounds."
posted by hippybear (10 comments total) 48 users marked this as a favorite
I just started listening to this, but it already reminds me of a less angry version of his Symphony No. 2. Maybe that impression will change as I get through it.
posted by fremen at 3:12 PM on January 15, 2016

To be honest, Bowie's latest and last album also pounds, growls, swaggers, and confounds".
posted by hippybear at 3:33 PM on January 15, 2016

Recently picked up a copy of harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani's Time Present and Time Past, on which he and his accompaniment perform both movements of Górecki's Harpsichord Concerto. The Vivace is really something to hear, starting out joyful, but building into something quite terrifying.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 4:24 PM on January 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

I only know Górecki from William Orbit covering Three Pieces in an Olden Style.
posted by infinitewindow at 4:59 PM on January 15, 2016

I was introduced to Gorecki by this Bose speaker takedown on Slate!

My room-mate and I played a lot of Sega NHL '95 to those bass fiddles blasting through my non-Bose stereo.
posted by mzurer at 8:03 PM on January 15, 2016

I have been thinking about picking up the bass again and this post is really, really making me want to spend much more than I should and get the bowable electric upright I've been thinking about for the past six months instead of a much cheaper bass guitar (I've played both upright and b. guitars and it's just not the same at all...but SO much more expensive).

I had not heard this piece before and now I think I have to go buy a recording because the 1st movement of symphony No. 3 is one of the most beautiful things I've heard in ages.
posted by smirkette at 8:20 PM on January 15, 2016

Górecki has some great string quartets, too.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:04 PM on January 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

Could be wrong, but I thought it was Classic FM that popularised the third symphony.
posted by Segundus at 8:28 AM on January 16, 2016

This is great, thanks hippybear! I love lots of Gorecki's music, but my favorite has to be his Kleines Requiem für eine Polka. Haunting, weird, funny, moving, it's everything he seems to have been as a person and leaves an audience just absolutely knocked out (I've conducted the piece twice, and both times the audience was just...astonished at the end).
posted by LooseFilter at 9:40 AM on January 16, 2016

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