Henryk Mikolaj Górecki

Polish composer. Born 6 December 1933. Died 12 November 2010
Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
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1933-12-06
https://musicbrainz.org/artist/7a837d63-a434-47e8-8b48-1d50e54ebb74
Henryk Mikolaj Górecki

Henryk Mikolaj Górecki Biography (BBC)

Often mistaken for a one-work composer on account of his Third Symphony, Henryk Górecki, born in 1933 near Rybnik, Silesia, was a Polish creative artist who, from the atomised musical language of the 1960s avant-garde, fashioned a remarkable individual style - grave, penitential, mystical - guided by the twin stars of national spirit and the Catholic Church.

Directly or obliquely, Poland's troubled history is reflected in much of his output. As a gifted young modernist composer, he became prominent through the Warsaw Autumn Festival, founded in 1956 as an audacious assertion of his country's artistic independence in the years of Soviet domination.

But while his early works such as Epitafium, the First Symphony and Scontri scandalised audiences and established his progressive credentials in the European citadels of new music, he was also sensitive to deeper currents from his country's history. Long before it became fashionable to recall the past through quotations of earlier music, heritage elements of Tatra folk song and medieval liturgical chant became part of his language through their overwhelming symbolic power.

First revealed in the nostalgic anachronisms of the Three Pieces in the Old Style of 1963 and in the Old Polish Music of 1969, this new manner achieved a simple yet bold monumentality in the 'Copernican' Second Symphony of 1972, more intimate expression in the Third Symphony of 1976, and a historic apotheosis in Beatus vir, performed in Krakow before Pope John Paul II on his first Polish pilgrimage in 1979.

Górecki responded to the political violence of the early 1980s with an unaccompanied Miserere; boycotted by the authorities, it was premiered in 1987, a year that also saw a renewal of interest in his Third Symphony against the backdrop of a decaying Soviet empire. Recovering from serious illness in 1985, he re-engaged with the currents of contemporary music in Recitatives and Ariosos (Lerchenmusik) for clarinet, cello and piano, but otherwise concentrated on the composition of choral music, including Totus tuus, written in 1987 for the third Papal visit to Poland.

Górecki's rise to celebrity status in the late 1980s scarcely shifted his stylistic co-ordinates, though he extended their scope in a variety of chamber works, including Already it is Dusk (1988) for the Kronos Quartet, the memorial Good Night (1990) and the enigmatic Little Requiem for a Polka (1993), both for ensemble. Faith and its expression in vocal and choral music steeped in the Polish tradition nevertheless remained at the heart of his later music, which is dominated by the substantial cantata Salve, sidus Polonorum (2000; heard at the Proms in 2001). In 2002 Górecki arranged his second string quartet Quasi una fantasia for string orchestra, and his long-awaited Third String Quartet was premiered by the Kronos in October 2005. His Symphony No. 4 was due to be premièred in London in 2010, by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, but the event was cancelled due to the composer's ill health. He died in November of that year.

Profile © Nicholas Williams, 2005


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Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
Symphony No 3, Op 36 'Symphony of Sorrowful Songs' (2nd mvt)
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Symphony No 3, Op 36 'Symphony of Sorrowful Songs' (2nd mvt)
Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
Harpsichord Concerto, Op. 40: Allegro Molto
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Harpsichord Concerto, Op. 40: Allegro Molto
Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
Totus Tuus
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Totus Tuus
Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
Lento e Largo Tranquillissimo
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Lento e Largo Tranquillissimo
Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
Canticum Graduum, Op 27
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Canticum Graduum, Op 27
Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
Symphony no 2, Op 31 'Copernican' (Kopernikowska)
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Symphony no 2, Op 31 'Copernican' (Kopernikowska)

Symphony no 2, Op 31 'Copernican' (Kopernikowska)

Singer
Iwona Hossa
Mariusz Godlewski
Choir
Warsaw National Philharmonic Chorus
Conductor
Bartosz Michałowski
Maciej Tworek
Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
Miserere (Op.44)
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Miserere (Op.44)
Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
Ad Matrem (Do Matki) for soprano, choir and orchestra Op 29
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Ad Matrem (Do Matki) for soprano, choir and orchestra Op 29
Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
O Domina Nostra Op 55 (1982-85)
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O Domina Nostra Op 55 (1982-85)

O Domina Nostra Op 55 (1982-85)

Performer
Ensemble
Singer
Diane Verdoodt
Ilse Schelfhout
Kristien Vercammen
Bernadette De Wilde
Lieve Mertens
Els Van Attenhoven
Lieve Vanden Berghe
Ludwig van Gijsegem
Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
Wislo moja, Wislo szara, Op 46
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Wislo moja, Wislo szara, Op 46
Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
Totus Tuus, Op 60
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Totus Tuus, Op 60
Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
Symphony No 3, 'Sorrowful Songs' (2nd mvt)
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Symphony No 3, 'Sorrowful Songs' (2nd mvt)
Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
Euntes ibant et flebant Op.32 for chorus
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Euntes ibant et flebant Op.32 for chorus
Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
String Quartet No.2, Op.64 "Quasi una fantasia"
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String Quartet No.2, Op.64 "Quasi una fantasia"
Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
Genesis 1: Elementi, Op.19 No.1
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Genesis 1: Elementi, Op.19 No.1
Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
Arioso
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Arioso
Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
Symphony No.3 (Symphony of Sorrowful Songs) (excerpt)
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Symphony No.3 (Symphony of Sorrowful Songs) (excerpt)
Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
Totus tuus Op 60
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Totus tuus Op 60

Totus tuus Op 60

Choir
Jutland Chamber Choir
Director
Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
Totus tuus
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Totus tuus
Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
Totus Tuus, Op. 60
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Totus Tuus, Op. 60
Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
Symphony No 3, Op 36: II Lento e Largo - Tranquillissimo
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Symphony No 3, Op 36: II Lento e Largo - Tranquillissimo
Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
3 Pieces in Olden Style
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3 Pieces in Olden Style

3 Pieces in Olden Style

Orchestra
Amadeus Chamber Orchestra
Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
Symphony no 3 – Lento – cantabile semplice
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Symphony no 3 – Lento – cantabile semplice

Symphony no 3 – Lento – cantabile semplice

Performer
Dawn Upshaw (Soprano), London Sinfonietta, David Zinman (Conductor)
Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
Symphony No 3, Op 36, 'Sorrowful Songs'
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Symphony No 3, Op 36, 'Sorrowful Songs'
Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
Salve Sidus Polonorum - Cantata in honour of St Wojciech (Adalbertus) (Op.72)
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Salve Sidus Polonorum - Cantata in honour of St Wojciech (Adalbertus) (Op.72)
Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
Symphony No.3 Opus 36: II- Lento E Largo
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Symphony No.3 Opus 36: II- Lento E Largo
Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
Third Symphony (Symphony of Sorrowful Songs)
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Third Symphony (Symphony of Sorrowful Songs)
Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
Symphony No 3-2Nd Movt.
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Symphony No 3-2Nd Movt.
Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
Symphony No. 2 'Copernican', Op. 31 - First Movement
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Symphony No. 2 'Copernican', Op. 31 - First Movement

Symphony No. 2 'Copernican', Op. 31 - First Movement

Performer
Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Antoni Wit (Conductor)
Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
Totus tuus
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Totus tuus

Totus tuus

Choir
Exultate Singers
Director
Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
5 Kurpian songs Op.75 for chorus; no.1; Hej, z gory, z gory!
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5 Kurpian songs Op.75 for chorus; no.1; Hej, z gory, z gory!
Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
Symffoni Rhif 3
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Symffoni Rhif 3
Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
Three Pieces in Olden Style
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Three Pieces in Olden Style

Three Pieces in Olden Style

Orchestra
Slovenian RTV Symphony Orchestra
Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
Symphony No 3, 'Sorrowful Songs' (2nd mvt)
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Symphony No 3, 'Sorrowful Songs' (2nd mvt)
Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
Totus tuus
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Totus tuus
Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
Three Pieces in old style for string orchestra
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Three Pieces in old style for string orchestra
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