It’s Not science, but it is Worth Your Time – Colon Stetson: Sorrow – A reimagining of Gorecki’s 3rd Symphony

Henryk Gorecki
The Symphony No. 3, Op. 36, also known as the Symphony of Sorrowful Songs (Polish: Symfonia pieśni żałosnych), is a symphony in three movements composed by Henryk Górecki in Katowice, Poland, between October and December 1976. The work is indicative of the transition between Górecki’s dissonant earlier manner and his more tonal later style. It was premièred on 4 April 1977, at the Royan International Festival, with Stefania Woytowicz as soprano and Ernest Bour as conductor.[1]

A solo soprano sings Polish texts [2] in each of the three movements. The first is a 15th-century Polish lament of Mary, mother of Jesus, the second a message written on the wall of a Gestapo cell during World War II, and the third a Silesian folk song of a mother searching for her son killed by the Germans in the Silesian uprisings.[3] The first and third movements are written from the perspective of a parent who has lost a child, and the second movement from that of a child separated from a parent. The dominant themes of the symphony are motherhood and separation through war.

Until 1992, Górecki was known only to connoisseurs, primarily as one of several composers from the Polish School responsible for the postwar Polish music renaissance.[4] That year, Elektra-Nonesuch released a recording of the 14-year-old symphony that topped the classical charts in Britain and the United States. To date, it has sold more than a million copies, vastly exceeding the expected lifetime sales of a typical symphonic recording by a 20th-century composer. This success, however, has not generated similar interest in Górecki’s other works.

Published on Apr 8, 2016yya reimagining of Gorecki’s 3rd Symphony

Colin Stetson is an American saxophonist and multireedist. He is best known as a regular collaborator of the indie rock acts Arcade Fire, Bon Iver, and Bell Orchestre. In addition to saxophone, he plays clarinet, bass clarinet, French horn, flute, and cornet.

Contributors to SORROW:
Colin Stetson: Alto, Tenor, Bass Saxophones; Contrabass Clarinet; Lyricon
Dan Bennett: Tenor, Baritone Saxophones; Clarinet
Greg Fox: Drums
Grey Mcmurray: Guitar
Gyda Valtysdottir: Cello
Justin Walter: Keyboards, EVI
Matt Bauder: Tenor, Baritone Saxophones; Clarinet
Megan Stetson: Voice
Rebecca Foon: Cello
Ryan Ferreira: Guitar
Sarah Neufeld: Violin
Shahzad Ismaily: Synth

Studio: Figure 8 Studios, Brooklyn NY
Engineer: Eli Crews
Producer: Colin Stetson
Mastering engineer: Mell Dettmer