Obituary: Composer Henryk Gorecki, 76

Posted on: November 12, 2010

A report Friday (11/12) on the BBC News website states, “Polish composer Henryk Gorecki has died at the age of 76, the country’s national orchestra has announced. He was best known for his Symphony of Sorrowful Songs, which was composed in 1976 and sold more than a million copies following a 1992 re-release. The symphony, re-issued to commemorate those who died in the Holocaust, featured vocals from US soprano Dawn Upshaw. … The composer’s earlier works in the 1950s and 1960s explored folk music traditions, but by the 1970s had formed into the monumental style he became famous for. He was often at odds with the authorities in communist Poland, withdrawing from public life in the 1980s to concentrate on composing music. Gorecki’s Symphony No 3 became the best-selling record by a contemporary composer, with its slow and stark style dealing with the themes of war and separation. The composer had completed his fourth symphony, but its premiere was shelved due to his illness.”

Posted November 12, 2010