Beth Gibbons / Penderecki / Górecki - Symphony No. 3 Final Movement
September 24, 2019 3:53 PM   Subscribe

Portishead's Beth Gibbons performs the final movement of Górecki's Symphony No. 3 and it is everything.
posted by Foci for Analysis (21 comments total) 66 users marked this as a favorite
 
Really looking forward to this but I'm going to have to listen to that when I have the emotional fortitude for it. That is one piece that never ceases to reduce me to a blubbering mess. I have a hunch this performance will do that in a big way.
posted by treepour at 4:03 PM on September 24, 2019 [5 favorites]


(On the other hand, maybe it's the catharsis I need after learning about Robert Hunter).
posted by treepour at 4:04 PM on September 24, 2019 [1 favorite]


I read about this a couple of months ago and saw that it was available to stream so gave it a couple of listens but it didn't stick. I will give it a couple of more listens to see if anything changes.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 4:45 PM on September 24, 2019 [1 favorite]


And this is the most melodic movement of this symphony! The guy in the office down the hall from me used to complain when I played this work. He loved music but it really gave him the creeps. There was some Netflix documentary about Auschwitz a couple years back that used this for accompaniment.
posted by Bee'sWing at 4:52 PM on September 24, 2019 [2 favorites]


Huh, it's the first movement that I think of as so iconic. The slow buildup over 15 minutes to a crescendo of sorrow, it's just amazing. I believe this is the full recording with Gibbons; if not the exact same performance, at least the same conductor and orchestra. No video though. And no subtitles! It's great to be able to read the lyrics while the music is playing.

The sound is compressed to shit on YouTube. Too bad; the recording we all know, the Dawn Upshaw recording, is so excellently engineered. It's brave of Gibbons to take this music on when that version is so well known. A funny moment in music for me, I was learning about Górecki just about the same time as Portishead released Dummy.

Note this is Penderecki conducting; he's no slouch when it comes to this particular subgenre of classical music.
posted by Nelson at 5:23 PM on September 24, 2019 [6 favorites]


She even looks like a grieving mother, sitting limply in her chair...
posted by jim in austin at 5:50 PM on September 24, 2019


Iggy played this out on his 6music show the other day and it’s so beautiful. Her voice seems very different when put to this style of singing.
posted by ElliotH at 6:10 PM on September 24, 2019 [1 favorite]


Her voice seems very different when put to this style of singing.

True, but still very recognizably her. Reminds me of Tom the Model at times.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:38 PM on September 24, 2019 [1 favorite]


Huh, it's the first movement that I think of as so iconic.

Indeed; I find the first movement amazing and the second and third movements slow and dull.
posted by nnethercote at 2:18 AM on September 25, 2019


Serious musician is serious.

Also, impeccable.
posted by flabdablet at 2:32 AM on September 25, 2019


And just in case anybody has forgotten what she sounds like on her home turf: Glory Box
posted by flabdablet at 2:56 AM on September 25, 2019 [2 favorites]


That was lovely.
posted by james33 at 4:33 AM on September 25, 2019


I love Beth Gibbons' voice in this.

The version Colin Stetson did a few years ago is really good too (bandcamp link) replacing the double bass with his unique saxophone playing.
posted by alanbee at 4:40 AM on September 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


I'm so impressed with her ability to sing in another language and really bring out the feeling and cadence of that piece. I think about Nat King Cole and some of the songs he sang in Spanish; they are charming and totally his voice, yet I can hear that he's not quite pronouncing/hitting the emphasis where it ought to be for the language.
posted by twentyfeetof tacos at 8:08 AM on September 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


As a mood-lifter after that gorgeous piece, I offer Sigur Rós performing Ára Bátur at Abbey Road.
posted by gottabefunky at 8:44 AM on September 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


what she sounds like on her home turf: Glory Box

Good lord she's holding a lit cigarette while performing that. Perhaps it's part of how she tunes her instrument.
posted by Nelson at 8:45 AM on September 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


This performance is giving me the same involuntary tear-inducing reaction as watching that Aretha Franklin documentary Amazing Grace. Man.
posted by gottabefunky at 8:48 AM on September 25, 2019


I featured this symphony in my 2nd Denton Ward and Monty Crocetti mystery novel, "Everlasting Life", and I could not have picked a better piece to be reflective of the sub-plot.
I fell in love with the work probably about the same time everyone else did, when the Dawn Upshaw recording came out in the early 90's.
SO. GOOD.
If CD's could be played so much that they melted, this would have been one of mine.
posted by Bill Watches Movies Podcast at 12:15 PM on September 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


This was beautiful. And the repetition really suits the subject.
posted by congen at 1:18 PM on September 25, 2019


Took a minute to remember the connection, but here's Lamb's "Gorecki."

Lamb being one of the many acts briefly collected under the 'trip-hop' umbrella (and as such indebted to Portishead and the rest of the Wild Bunch), probably best known for Cottonwool.
posted by snuffleupagus at 4:10 PM on September 25, 2019 [2 favorites]


Alexa can not understand "Gorecki third symphony." I had to go into Amazon and create a playlist for it.
posted by mecran01 at 7:50 PM on September 28, 2019


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