Monday, June 2, 2008

Emotional Music

ImageSymphony of Sorrowful Songs (Voiceprint)
Polish composer Henryk Gorecki wrote his surprise hit Third Symphony in 1976, but it wasn’t until a 1992 recording with soprano Dawn Upshaw that it really took off. Tony Palmer’s film includes excerpts from an interview with Gorecki, who candidly discusses the genesis of his magnum opus, which have been edited into a filmed performance by Upshaw, conductor David Zinman and the London Sinfonietta. It’s too bad Palmer stoops to heart-tugging shots of starving children to parallel the emaciated figures in Nazi concentration camps (the original idea behind Gorecki’s work): this heartfelt symphony can emote on its own with no further prodding.

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