- Symphony No. 3, Op. 36 ("Symphony of Sorrowful Songs")
Henryk Górecki's "Third Symphony," entitled "Symphony of Sorrowful Songs," did not find its due appreciation until some 15 years after its 1977 premiere in France. The groundbreaking (and still gold standard) recording of the symphony made by soprano Dawn Upshaw with David Zinman and the London Sinfonietta rocketed to the top of classical and popular music charts alike, gaining the symphony widespread recognition that remains today. The present Telarc album features soprano super-star Christine Brewer with Donald Runnicles and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. For listeners who already have the aforementioned Upshaw recording, this CD doesn't offer much new or different in terms of performance quality or interpretation. Brewer's voice is velvety, lush, and powerful, with a slightly wider vibrato. Runnicles and the symphony go with a slightly slower pulse that is certainly effective given the Lento markings for each movement. Dynamics are not as broad or intense as they could be, particularly in the sweeping first movement. Still, this recording is certainly appropriate for listeners who have not yet had the pleasure of hearing this piece. Recorded sound quality is clear throughout, and the informative liner notes do a nice job explaining the text and tying it in with the music.