Limited edition 100 CD box set on the premiere classical label Deutsch Grammophon. Subtitled from Gregorian Chant to Gorecki. For some it will be the ultimate reference tool. For others a big place to start on something they always wanted to know about. Either way, the idea is to present a comprehensive history of Classical Music from its origins to the present day, covering all periods, including all major composers.
Henryk Gorecki (1933-2010) became best known for his Third Symphony, the ‘Symphony of Sorrowful Songs’ that became a hit in the 1990s, tapping into a new hunger in the listening public for serious new music that was nonetheless melodically inspired and spiritual in sensibility. These qualities can be readily discerned in much of the rest of his small and fastidious output. The Kleines Requiem für eine Polka (1993) is itself at once a profoundly serious work and a curiously elusive one, a blend of warm expressive directness with almost Brechtian alienation. It is scored for a chamber ensemble: like Henze’s late masterpiece, it is an instrumental Requiem, in which words are felt to be otiose to the direct expression of grief and consolation.
OK, the title of this album is rather plain and cover most 'cheap', but damn that its content is good! Castle Canyon is a American group, totally unknown, but has yet cracked shortly in the early 70s. A long tunnel over 30 years and a resurrection later….. Gods Of 1973 Thus, a progressive instrumental 'seventies' of very high bill, dominated by the full panoply of keyboards 'vintage' supported by an impeccable rhythm section and guitar more discreet but no less perfect. To clarify further, there may well sure to add that Castle Canyon sometimes evokes ELP, Trace and other Quill, but his personality is such that the Gods of 1973 made very quickly forget sake of rapprochement on the part of the listener. A treat!
I well remember reviewing one of the first recordings, possibly the first in the West, of Górecki's hypnotising 3rd Symphony (Stefania Woytowicz with the Berlin Radio Symphony orchestra, conducted by Wlodzimierz Kamirski (Schwann CD 11615 (Koch-Schwann SCH 361-302)). I can remember my excitement at such a simple, yet moving, work. These folksong arrangements are in the same mould as the Symphony – slow and quiet, simple and direct. They are very beautiful. They’re neither as complex, nor as demanding, as either Szeroka Woda (Broad Waters), op.39 (1979) or Wislo moja, Wislo szara (My Vistula, Grey Vistula), op.46 (1981), but in their own way they are affecting ………This is a most interesting and satisfying disk and it’s good to hear such fine choral singing.Bob Briggs@musicweb-international