Gorecki: Symphony No. 3

Review by: Victor Carr Jr

Artistic Quality: 9

Sound Quality: 10

It’s encouraging to see a relatively new orchestral work become a “hit”, garnering performances worldwide and recordings nearly as numerous as those of Mahler symphonies. Of course there’s no telling if Górecki’s Symphony No. 3 will overfill the CD catalog a century from now, and to be honest there’s less need for that to happen. It’s no slight to say that the symphony pretty much plays itself, in a sense defying “interpretation”. Hence, given comparable performing forces there’s precious little to distinguish one rendition from another.

Even so, Takuo Yuasa’s recording is among the best to appear thus far. He takes maximum advantage of the Adelaide Symphony’s sonorous low strings in the long, hypnotic first movement, greatly enhancing the music’s inspired gravity. Yvonne Kenny’s opulent voice projects her siren song clearly over the orchestra. Her deeply heartfelt singing, perhaps less angelic than Dawn Upshaw on the Zinman recording, nonetheless communicates the music’s passion. Complementing this is Yuasa’s highly focused, intense reading, and although it’s a few minutes shorter than the competing versions it sacrifices not one whit of the work’s radiant power.

Lastly, the recording ideally captures the sound of the orchestra in the richly resonant acoustic of Adelaide Town Hall. In a catalog already abundant with fine Górecki Thirds, this new ABC Classics release stands out handsomely. [2/27/2002]



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Recording Details:

Reference Recording: This one, Zinman (Nonesuch)

HENRYK GÓRECKI - Symphony No. 3 "Symphony of Sorrowful Songs"


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