Górecki: Symphony No. 3 – Beth Gibbons, NOSPR & Krzysztof Penderecki
Henryk Mikołaj Górecki: Symphony No. 3 “Symphony Of Sorrowful Songs”
Beth Gibbons – vocals, Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Krzysztof Penderecki – cond.
Domino Records WIGCD395 (29 March 2019)
In this new recording of Henryk Mikołaj Górecki’s Symphony No. 3, pop icon Beth Gibbon teams up with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra (NOSPR) and world renowned Polish composer/conductor Krzysztof Penderecki to present a fresh interpretation of the piece. Lauded not only as work for the classical concert stage, the “Symphony Of Sorrowful Songs” also enjoyed time in dance clubs and at the top of pop music charts when the 1992 recording by Dawn Upshaw and the London Sinfonietta sold over a million copies.
Already sold in “Deluxe LP” form, The Onion’s AV Club has listed the recording amongst it’s “5 New Releases We Love”:
Portishead singer Beth Gibbons emerges from 11 years of silence with Henryk Górecki: Symphony No. 3, an ambitious classical performance with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra that was actually recorded back in November of 2014. Subtitled “Symphony Of Sorrowful Songs,” the piece is divided into three movements, each featuring a single female voice singing in Polish from three heartbreaking texts: first, a 15th-century lament of the Virgin Mary; second, a message found written on the wall of a Gestapo cell at the end of WWII; and third, a Silesian folk song from the perspective of a mother searching for her dead son. Górecki’s work, a pioneering composition of the contemporary classical genre since dubbed “holy minimalism,” is typically performed by operatic sopranos, making this an especially ambitious project for Gibbons, a contralto pop singer. And although her performance isn’t technically perfect, the vulnerability (and the vibrato) in her voice adds a deeply human emotional layer to an already sublime work.