Saturday, 4 December 2010

Gorecki programme & Rodrigo and Gabriela

It is years since we first heard Gorecki's third symphony. It seemed to burst onto the music scene rather out of the blue. I think it was an article in The Sunday Times that first alerted us to it. As many have found, it is a remarkably moving piece. Yet I had never actually looked at the detail of what it is actually about. Often I prefer to just hear the sound. As John Peel used to say, for all I know they could be singing "I am waiting for you dancing pool, my arms, my arms".

But there was a programme about Gorecki on BBC four the other day, featuring a short interview with the man himself (who died quite recently) together with an interspersed performance featuring Dawn Upshaw, who sings on our copy. Scenes of Auschwitz retain their immense power - including some really disturbing scenes of skeletal bodies being cast into mass graves. So I now know what the words say, and very moving they are too.

Afterwards, I am forced to watch a performance by Rodrigo and Gabriela at Glastonbury. Their exurberance is quite compelling. Amazing virtuoso performances

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