Henryk Gorecki
Symphony No. 3, Op. 36


5.0
classic

Review

by Rationalist USER (50 Reviews)
January 31st, 2010 | 133 replies


Release Date: 1976 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This symphony is the aural form of resplendence.

Genericness has plagued our society for an epoch now. Original ideas seem to become bigger rarities every day. And furthermore, if an original idea is produced, oftentimes it rejects beauty and/or enjoyability in the process. Oftentimes this subtraction is intended, or necessary for the idea to prosper, but occasionally, it is comforting to hear a piece like Henryk Górecki's Symphony No. 3. Compositions such as this show that an original idea can be accessible.

Beginning with “Lento―Sostenuto tranquillo ma cantabile”, Symphony No. 3 shows why it acquired the moniker, “Symphony of Sorrowful Songs”. The aforementioned first movement is based off a late-15th century lament found in Lysagora Songs. The morose lyrical content is matched by a minimalist instrumental arrangement. Starting with a recurring canon that spans twenty-four bars, this movement toys with the adding of constantly adding new instruments into the soundscape. The canon consists of eight parts and gradually eliminates the voices of the song one by one before the instruments take flight. Eventually the canon ends, and the strings stop on a sorrowful note. From here, the second movement commences.

“Lento―Tranquillisimo” also portrays a sense of hopelessness and despair. The lyrical content of this album is based off a prayer to the Virgin Mary that was inscribed by a child in Zakopane.* It presents a sense of ascension throughout the movement, which could indeed present the supposed ascension of the character to heaven. The way this is portrayed in “Lento―Tranquillisimo” is fascinating, to say the least. By increasing the intensity of the music gradually, the listener's interest is always piqued. When the soprano busts out that climaxing note, it's like witnessing the aural personification of bliss. Soon after, the strings stall for over a minute before the vocalist sings four more lines (which I believe are the two lines repeated) in the same pitch. The movement ends, and the listener is swept into the third and final movement, “Lento―Cantabile-semplice.”

This finale resembles the opposite version of the canon from the first movement and it also features a simplistic motif. By presenting the melody in the first verse, the second and third verses are able to explore different variations of notes and include nuances that cradle the listener before a postlude takes place. This ends the symphony on a high note, and proves that Górecki's Symphony No. 3 is consistent and astounding throughout these three movements. It's a rare occasion when a musical composition such as this comes out, but Górecki's Symphony No. 3 is the auditory manifestation of this rarity.

*A small town in South Poland that served as a bridge between Hungary and Poland for a time.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Rationalist
January 31st 2010


880 Comments


To be honest, this was, at one point, a twelve page analysis of the symphony. I reduced it down to four paragraphs for your convenience.

EasternLight
January 31st 2010


2700 Comments


i guess ill have to buy this

cirq
January 31st 2010


9264 Comments


thank the lord, cuz i would not have read that.

qwe3
January 31st 2010


21362 Comments


Genericism has plagued our society for an epoch now.

erasedcitizen
January 31st 2010


716 Comments


Genericism is a byproduct of revolution.

DiceMan
January 31st 2010


7068 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Album is fucking artwork.


qwe3
January 31st 2010


21362 Comments


i was just repeating the first line of the review citizen

erasedcitizen
January 31st 2010


716 Comments


I know, I was just addressing the idea.

Gyromania
February 1st 2010


15941 Comments


this movement toys with the adding of constantly adding new instruments into the soundscape.

This reads awkwardly to me, otherwise this was an outstanding review! major props, and have a pos.

To be honest, this was, at one point, a twelve page analysis of the symphony. I reduced it down to four paragraphs for your convenience.

Could I read it?



Digging: Lantlos - .neon

Piglet
February 1st 2010


4659 Comments


sounds great

Gyromania
February 1st 2010


15941 Comments


One of the most fantastic albums you will ever hear.

Piglet
February 1st 2010


4659 Comments


Secondary opinion plz? this album must have some form of hate or something

Gyromania
February 1st 2010


15941 Comments


Check this out Pat- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKk-w_0SpSw

darthbarf
February 1st 2010


445 Comments


i keep seeing this and I'm on kind've a classical high now...might have to check this out

Piglet
February 1st 2010


4659 Comments


0bL1v10N iz B3TTA!11!!!@

oops sorry, spending too much time on gamespot and not sputnikmusic

scotish
February 1st 2010


835 Comments


aural form
aural personification
aural manifestation
the adding of constantly adding
ends, and the strings end

a few repititions that annoyed me, but other than that good work with the review.

Rationalist
February 1st 2010


880 Comments


@gyro: I had to save these four paragraphs in the place of that dinosaur. Just think of it as this:
2 pages of snide hotel review that tied into the review.
3 pages about the first movement
2 about the second
3 about the last
2 tying in every detail together and three lines explaining asteriks throughout.

Rationalist
February 1st 2010


880 Comments


I love the neg that went without explanation

Gyromania
February 2nd 2010


15941 Comments


I really wanted to write a review of this (at god knows what point in time), but with two excellent, descriptive ones already I'm thinking that would just be useless.

I love the neg that went without explanation

That's a large problem with this site- people often neg without explanation just because they can; alt accounts for the sake of troll negging are also ridiculous.

Rationalist
February 2nd 2010


880 Comments


That's a large problem with this site- people often neg without explanation just because they can; alt accounts for the sake of troll negging are also ridiculous.


True. I'd like to say people need to explain their reasoning for votes (both pos and neg to be fair), like a sentence or two, but that would not only detract negs, but prove not entirely effective. Things slip through the cracks all the time.

However, losing two percent of your approval rating for what appears to be a lone troll neg is ridiculous.



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