HENRYK MIKOŁAI GÓRECKI (1933-2010): Symphony No. 2 for Soprano, Baritone, Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 31 “Copernican” (Mariusz Godlewski [baritone], Joanna Woś [soprano], Silesian Philharmonic Choir and Symphony Orchestra; Mirosław Jacek Błaszczyk. No texts), MIKOŁAI GÓRECKI (b.1971): Radiating Brightness for Soprano and String Orchestra (Agata Zubel [soprano], Silesian Chamber Orchestra; Robert Kabara. Polish texts).
Catalogue Number: 06S068
Description: The Second Symphony, commissioned for the 500th anniversary of Copernicus' birth, is Górecki's most monumental work, perhaps alongside the posthumously completed 4th (orchestrated by his son Mikołaj), with which it has more than a little in common. It must be remembered that the lush romanticism of the unexpectedly hyper-popular 3rd was the exception; music rough-hewn out of massive blocks of sound arranged in procession like the menhirs of some colossal, primitive structure. Turbulence swirls around the megaliths as the first movement ends, and this chaotic creation scene introduces humankind, glorifying the mysteries of the cosmos in texts from the Psalms and Copernicus' "De revolutionibus orbium cœlestium", solemnly intoned before the vast spaces of the celestial void. Górecki fils' Radiating Brightness, setting texts by Czesław Miłosz, has much more in common with his father's Symphony of Sorrowful Songs than his tougher, modernistic style, especially the last movement in which the Mahler influence that many detected in the older composer's work is very apparent. Three lyrical, contemplative movements are offset by a propulsive toccata for strings which is reminiscent of Panufnik.