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Sleeping Dogs Lie 09: Henryk Górecki

Written for the 50th anniversary concert of Hitler’s invasion of Poland and the ensuing tragedies, Henryk Gorecki’s Symphony No. 3 is a powerful, prayer-like setting of memories of those events. While considered a modern composer, the work is firmly rooted in the tonal world, often creating a mantra/meditative feel; the 1976 composition is as emotional today, as it was in its own time. Gorecki’s first work composed for unaccompanied voices, the Psalms setting titled “Euntes Ibant Et Flebant” is reminiscent of the mood of his now famous “Symphony of Sorrowful Songs”.

01. Henryk Górecki: “Lento, Sostenuto Tranquillo Ma Cantabile” (from “Symphony #3, Op. 36, ‘Symphony Of Sorrowful Songs’, Elektra Nonesuch, 1992)
02. Henryk Górecki: “Lento E Largo, Tranquillissimo” (from “Symphony #3, Op. 36, ‘Symphony Of Sorrowful Songs’, Elektra Nonesuch, 1992)
03. Henryk Górecki: “Lento, Cantabile Semplice” (from “Symphony #3, Op. 36, ‘Symphony Of Sorrowful Songs’, Elektra Nonesuch, 1992)
04. Henryk Górecki: “Euntes Ibant Et Flebant, Opus 32” (from “Miserere”, Elektra Nonesuch, 1994)

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Sleeping Dogs Lie 08: Giya Kancheli, Henryk Górecki

01. Giya Kancheli: “Bright Sorrow (In Memory of Children, Victims of War)” (from “Bright Sorrow / Mourned by the Wind”, BMG, 1997)

Requiem for two boys’ voices, boys chorus and orchestra after Shakespeare, Goethe, Tabidse and Pushkin. Dedicated to all the children who have become victims of a war.

02. Henryk Górecki: “Miserere, Opus 44” (from “Miserere”, Elektra Nonesuch, 1994)

Miserere is a stunning work, a response to the political upheaval in Poland that surrounded the United Peasant Party in 1981 when members of the Rural Solidarity were slaughtered by the militia. In response to this Gorecki immediately composed this work for large unaccompanied chorus which for the first thirty minutes intones the words ‘Domine Deus Noster’ (Lord our God), first by massive male voices intoning, plea-like, then joined by women’s voices in agitation and ultimate reverence, adding only at the very end the words ‘Miserere nobis’ (have mercy on us). If any listener fails to be moved by this quiet, urgent, sonorous plea for peace, then we as a universal people have much work to do!

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