Górecki in Context: Essays on Music

Edited by Maja Trochimczyk
Forthcoming in 2012

The classical music world went into shock when Henryk Mikolaj Górecki's Third Symphony climbed up to the top of charts as an international "hit" beloved by millions. The mystery of the Symphony of Sorrowful Songs still attracts critical attention, a year after the composer’s death (1933-2010). This volume gathers interviews with and about Górecki and studies of his music by scholars from Poland, Australia, the U.S., and the U.K. The interviews, spanning the years 1962 to 2008, were conducted by Krzysztof Droba, Leon Markiewicz, Maja Trochimczyk, and Krzysztof Cyran with Anna Wieczorek. Scholars and composers include Luke B. Howard, Lisa Jakelski, Ivan Jimenez, Kinga Kiwala, Eugeniusz Knapik, Teresa Malecka, Anna Maslowiec, Danuta Mirka, and Maja Trochimczyk.

Henryk Mikolaj Górecki was a Polish composer, most famous for his Symphony No. 3, "Symphony of Sorrowful Songs." Born on 6 December 1933 in Silesia, Górecki started his music education with a delay that did not prevent him from becoming one of the most important composers of the 20th century, associated with the "holy minimalism" school of composers writing deceptively simple music of a great emotional impact and a profound spiritual inspiration. He studied piano and composition with Boleslaw Szabelski at the State Higher School of Music in Katowice (1955-1960). A member of the radical, avant-garde "Polish school of sonorism," after a fellowship in Paris that exposed him to the music of Olivier Messiaen, he became a professor of composition at the PWSM in Katowice. Enamoured of the mountains, he eventually settled in the village of Zab in the Tatra Mountains. Górecki died on November 12, 2010.

Forthcoming in 2012, with a bibliography, list of works, chronology of life, music examples, charts, diagrams, photos, index, and a CD of an interview with Gorecki recorded in Poland in April 1998.

Table of Contents
  • Luke B. Howard - "Why Love Górecki?"

  • Part I. Interviews: Górecki on Music

  • Chapter 1: "Conversation with Henryk Górecki: Leon Markiewicz, July 1962" - Translated by Anna Maslowiec

  • Chapter 2: Maja Trochimczyk - "About Life and Music: A Semi-Serious Conversation with Henryk Mikolaj Górecki" (Zakopane, July 1997)

  • Chapter 3: Maja Trochimczyk - "'Composing is a Terribly Personal Matter': A Conversation with Henryk Mikołaj Górecki" (Katowice, April 1998)

  • Chapter 4: Anna Wieczorek and Krzysztof Cyran - "An Interview with Doctor Górecki" (Academy of Music, Kraków, 2008)

  • Part II. Encounters: Remembering Górecki

  • Chapter 5: Krzysztof Droba - "Conversation with Eugeniusz Knapik About Górecki"

  • Chapter 6: Maja Trochimczyk - "Gorecki in Los Angeles"

  • Part III. Dialogues: Górecki's Music in Context

  • Chapter 7: Lisa Jakelski - "Górecki's Scontri and Avant-Garde Music in Cold War Poland"

  • Chapter 8: Anna Maslowiec - "'The Utmost Economy of Musical Material:' Structural Elements in the Works of Górecki from Refrain (1965) to Ad matrem (1971)"

  • Chapter 9: Maja Trochimczyk - "Spatiality of Sound and Stream Segregation in 20th-Century Instrumental Music" Chapter 10: Kinga Kiwala, “A Phenomenological Analysis of Henryk Mikołaj Górecki’s Second Symphony”

  • Chapter 11: Danuta Mirka - "Górecki's Musica geometrica"

  • Chapter 12: Maja Trochimczyk - "Witold Lutoslawski and musique concrete: The Technique of Sound Planes and its Sources"

  • Chapter 13: Teresa Malecka - "The Piano in the Oeuvre of Henryk Mikolaj Górecki"

  • Chapter 14: Maja Trochimczyk - "Bogurodzica Reborn: A Medieval Anthem in Contemporary Polish Music"

  • Chapter 15: Ivan Jimenez - "Structural Depth and Emotional Depth in the Canon from Górecki's Third Symphony"

  • Chapter 16: Maja Trochimczyk - "Mater Dolorosa and Maternal Love in Górecki's Music"

  • Chapter 17: Teresa Malecka - "Henryk Mikolaj Górecki's Music for Chorus a Capella"

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