Gorecki: Symphony No. 3 - David Zinman, Dawn Upshaw & London Sinfonietta

Gorecki: Symphony No. 3

David Zinman, Dawn Upshaw & London Sinfonietta

  • Genre: Classical
  • Release Date: 1992-03-09
  • Explicitness: notExplicit
  • Country: USA
  • Track Count: 3
  • ℗ 1992 Nonesuch Records

Gorecki: Symphony No. 3 ◷ preview

Title Artist Time
Symphony No. 3, Op. 36 "Sympho David Zinman, Dawn Upshaw & London Sinfonietta 26:47
Symphony No. 3, Op. 36 "Sympho David Zinman, Dawn Upshaw & London Sinfonietta 9:27
Symphony No. 3, Op. 36 "Sympho David Zinman, Dawn Upshaw & London Sinfonietta 17:09


  • Overwhelmingly beautiful

    By figgy g
    If you have experienced this masterpiece then you discovered how deeply music lives in our soul. If you listen to this and are not moved right to the core if your being, well then you probably have no soul. Too bad for you.
  • Music written for Auschwitz

    By zubairr
    One of the very best pieces ever created that can literally stir emotions and touch your soul. A perfect complement to an Auschwitz visit!
  • Half Perfect

    By Essentialism
    The instrumental sections of this work are superb, both in composition and performance. The continuous build of the first movement, in particular, is reminiscent of such moving instrumental works as Samuel Barber's Adagio from the Opus 11 String Quartet, or Vaughan Villiams' "Lark Ascending". However, each movement is then overpowered by the bombastic hystrionic wailing and yodeling of the "singing". Has this ever been performed as purely instrumental? That I would consider a masterpiece. This split-personality mashup, however, I find unlistenable.
  • Masterpiece

    By redwolfe
    I caught this at work one afternoon on NPR but came in after the work started, so I didn't know what it was. I ended up sitting at my desk right on through my break listening and wondering what this wonderful and totally unknown-to-me work was, making sure I caught the information when it ended. After work, I went straight to the nearest music store and snatched up the last copy. I was familiar with Dawn Upshaw and already respected her greatly, but Górecki was totally new to me. It's a haunting, moving and sometimes draining piece to listen to but bound to become one of the outstanding masterpieces of the 20th century.
  • The greatest Polish composer after Chopin! Epic.

    By Little John LA
    The greatest album of the greatest Polish composer of the XXth century. Maestro Gorecki passed away, but his music is timeless.
  • Buy it

    By Art in Austin
    This album goes with me to the desert island.
  • Gorecki - Spiritual and Emotional

    By GustafNeilson
    Written for the 50th anniversary concert of Hitler's invasion of Poland and the ensuing tragedies, Henryk Gorecki's Symphony No. 3 is a powerful, prayer-like setting of memories of those events. While considered a modern composer, the work is firmly rooted in the tonal world, often creating a mantra/meditative feel; the 1976 composition is as emotional today, as it was in its own time. The subtitle "Sorrowful Songs" is lost a little in the Polish translation, where the sense of "Wordless song", "prayer and exhortation", and "elegiac and redemptive lullaby" are qualities involved in the literal translation. The unique orchestration (4 flutes, 2 piccolos, 4 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 4 trombones, harp, piano, and full string ensemble) give a full, rich, intimate, chamber sound, but the beauty of a solo soprano voice adds to the absolute quality of the instruments. In three movements, each conveys a prayer in a contrasting, yet peaceful manner. Ingeniously, the 26-minute first movement is dominated simply by a canon; based on a folk song, the tune is taken up by the double-basses in low tessitura, and each voice enters at a fifth. It begins rather muddy in the lower voices, but, the gently shifting, repetitious nature, as well as the natural crescendo (achieved by adding instruments and increasing register) comes to a powerful climax, of which the movement ends the opposite by subtracting voices. 13 minutes into the opening movement, the mood changes from the kaleidoscopic motion of shifting strings, to full chords, piano attacks, and a prayer sung by soprano over huge, lush string chords. The effects of the first movement are intriguing and intense, but highly satisfying. The nine-minute second movement's text was found on the wall of Cell No. 3 in "The Palace", a Gestapo's headquarters in Zakopane, written by an 18-year old imprisoned in 1944. Lush minor chords open the movement with a rising motive. Exclamation of "Mama, mama, do not weep" referring personally and religiously, is heartbreaking. Again, thick and lush string ensemble chords dominate the texture, but rather than the ever-moving canon of the opening, long sustained, slowly-shifting chords support the pleas of the soprano soloist; the movement ends unresolved. Equally heart-wrenching is the text of the third movement; a mother who fears her son has died at the hands of the enemy, and is buried in an unknown land, asks God's flowers to cover and protect her son. The soprano melody is simple and seemingly folk-based, but more active and dramatic than the preceding movement; feelings of hopelessness and utter sorrow are sincerely portrayed with the endless shifting string chords, which seem more sounds of unearthly, or ancient chordal movements. The 17-minute final movement and the whole work ends in A major, full of hopefulness and a feeling that all of our prayers have been received with the genuine sincerity in which they have been given. David Zinman and the London Sinfonietta make this music sparkle, with a deep, velvety sheen. I do not feel that the work is overly sappy, but sincere and passionate performances. The sound is wonderfully resonant and speaks well; the orchestra plays magnificently and is captured well on recording. Dawn Upshaw is outstanding, both bright and luscious, she gives each movement a different mood, making the work a dramatic experience which unfolds, rather than a set of movements. David Zinman adds nothing that Gorecki doesn't ask for, and the composers' natural intent is given on this recording. Gorecki's music is engaging and in this case, broaches toward minimalism, rooted in tonality and modality, the prayer-like music never becomes boring or merely repetitious, but it all ends too soon. 15 years after the Zinman performance and 30 years after its composition, the work has an amazingly powerful statement and immense spirituality. A must-have recording.
  • Amazing piece

    By DiamondGrl2
    In my life, I have twice been driving and needed to pull to the side of the road because a piece of classical music was playing on the radio that was so powerful that I couldn't drive. The first movement of Gorecki's Symphony No. 3 was one of those moments. When Dawn Upshaw first comes in is one of the most hauntingly beautiful moments in music that I have ever heard. Immediately after listening to the radio announcer say what was playing, I headed to a music store (back when those existed) and bought a copy. The clerk at the desk said, "That's funny. This is the third one I have sold in the last five minutes." It was no wonder. The next time I was in there, they didn't have 4 or 5 copies but more than 100 for sale.
  • Raptuous Music

    By wizard44
    At the end of the movie, Fearless(1993), music from the first movement of Gorecki's Third Symphony, stirs and awakens a feeling of profound grief and, ultimately supreme joy, creating an atmosphere of raptuous contemplation... I highly recommend this CD!
  • Meaning.

    By i2 am not quite satisfied
    It is to memorialize Germany's invasion of Poland.