What composers write music that sounds like Henryk Gorecki's 'Symphony No. 3'?
December 15, 2004 5:39 PM   Subscribe

What composers write music that sounds like Henryk Gorecki's 'Symphony No. 3'?
posted by Jairus to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
From the Wikipedia article on Gorecki:

Górecki's music covers a variety of styles, but tends to be harmonically relatively simple. His first works were in the same avant garde style as that of Pierre Boulez or other serialists, but his later music is more often compared to minimalism, often being labelled as "holy minimalism". Like Arvo Pärt, with whom he is also compared, his works often reflect his religious beliefs (Górecki is a Catholic).

You'd probably like Arvo Part's "Tabula Rasa" if you like Gorecki's 3rd.
posted by agropyron at 5:47 PM on December 15, 2004

posted by Wolfdog at 6:18 PM on December 15, 2004

you may additionally want to look into Sofiya Gubaydulina. Górecki in my opinion also shares some similarities with Shostakovich, who you're probably familiar with, but if not you should check him out.
posted by Frankieist at 7:03 PM on December 15, 2004

Additionally, Kronos Quartet play some of his stuff. They often play minimalist work, so if you're into that sort of thing you'd probably like alot of Kronos Quartet's stuff.
posted by Frankieist at 7:05 PM on December 15, 2004

Alas, the quick answer is: nothing sounds like Gorecki's 3rd. It is probably one of the most beautiful pieces of music written in the last 100 years. You might give a listen to his Miserere, though. It's also very minimal, but really rewards careful listening.

From there, Part and Messiaen are probably good next steps. Arvo Part's Te Deum is probably his most accessible piece.

Also, Maurice Durufle's Requiem also reminds me of Gorecki a bit.
posted by felix betachat at 7:47 PM on December 15, 2004

Sorry to derail, but I was planning on asking this exact question. So, uh, this is serendipitelicous.
posted by cmyr at 8:03 PM on December 15, 2004 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If what you like about Gorecki's Symphony No. 3 is the really slow buildup in volume with lots of slow repitition of the same figure, I'd recommend Mahler's Symphony No. 3. The style is obviously different, but the greater portion of it has that same feeling of time being suspended. It also has a tonal structure that's more relaxed that the Romantic composers. The breakdown of tonal barriers is taken further by Shoenberg, and then by modern composers like Gorecki.

I'd definitely recommend Part. If you are attracted to the spirituality/style of works by Part and Gorecki, (including more the more dissonant works like Gorecki's String Quartet Already it is Dusk) you may like Giya Kancheli, Osvaldo Golijov and Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky. I was turned on to these composers because of this Kronos Quartet compilation.

I am always on the lookout for new composers and am looking forward to hearing what others recommend.

And on preview, what felix betachat says about nothing sounding like Gorecki's Symphony No. 3. If you tell us something specific that you like about this piece we can maybe help more.

I'd also suggest exploring Gorecki's music more if you haven't already done so. I really love Three Pieces in Old Style (my favorite), Misiere, Klienes Requim for un Polka, Already it is Dusk and Good Night. I've also noticed interpretive differences in recordings - and for Gorecki and Part, it's definitely worthwhile to collect them and compare.
posted by sophie at 8:23 PM on December 15, 2004 [2 favorites]

In addition to Part and Messaien and Gubaidulina, I would also suggest John Tavener, John Harbison, and, um, John Corigliano. And Bernard Rands (who isn't named John). And Toru Takemitsu (who composed in a few different idioms, but whose more tonal works had the same delicate voicing and subtle harmonic motion that is my favorite thing in the Gorecki #3).
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:00 PM on December 15, 2004

Valentin Silvestrov is another contemporary composer whose works are slow-moving, elegaic, and sometimes beautifully melodic.
posted by misteraitch at 2:05 AM on December 16, 2004

I'm assuming you know Satie but I've always thought the Trois Gymnopedies were very similar structurally. I enjoy both composers quite a bit and have heard their work performed together.
posted by luriete at 10:18 AM on December 16, 2004

You may enjoy Lou Harrison's Suite for Violin and American Gamelan [RA]. It is not nearly as dramatic and patient as Gorecki's best work but it does live in that space between deeply mournful and deeply hopeful (and about 20 minutes into the piece it gets really playful for a short moment!).

This has been posted to MeFi before but the site for the PBS series American Mavericks has full length streaming versions of quite a few works you might enjoy.

And a final suggestion is this piece by Pauline Oliveros (that was recorded in a two million gallon empty water cistern!). In my experience, her work is more hit-and-miss (which makes sense and is surely forgivable as she consider's herself an experimental musician (one who, in my opinion, is honestly trying / failing / succeeding / experimenting)) but i find this piece to be strange and very moving.

geez, apologies for them clauses there!
posted by verysleeping at 12:11 PM on December 16, 2004

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