Gorecki: Symphony No. 3; Three Pieces in Old Style

Our rating 
2.0 out of 5 star rating 2.0

COMPOSERS: Gorecki
LABELS: Tring
WORKS: Symphony No. 3; Three Pieces in Old Style
PERFORMER: Susan Gritton (soprano); RPO/Yuri Simonov
CATALOGUE NO: TRP 084
At 53:17 minutes, Simonov and the RPO are the closest on any recording I know to the 54 minutes given in the score. The English soprano Susan Gritton sympathetically balances emotion and purity, but the sound on this Tring recording lacks clarity.

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More importantly, Simonov often seems laboured. At both the beginning and the end of the first movement’s recapitulation, his nudging and stretching suggest a lack of faith in the whole enterprise. If he’d persuaded the RPO strings to achieve a real incandescence of sound, that lengthy winding down of the canon would have been much more convincing.

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Kord on Philips has a more moving soprano (Joanna Kozlowska) and probably the best recorded sound. On Naxos – which, like the present disc, includes the composer’s Three Pieces in Old Style and is at budget price – Wit’s control of tempo and structure is much surer and the Polish National Radio SO plays as though it believed in every note. Keith Potter