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Remarkable Symphony of Sorrowful Songs with Slávka Zámečníková


In 1977, when they played Symphony No. 3 'Symphony of Sorrowful Songs' by Henryk Gorecki (1933 - 2010) for the first time at the festival in French Royane, nobody seemed to take a special note of this remarkable work. It gained a lukewarm reception by critiques; even it was described as tonal and hence retrogressive. In 1993, however, the CD record of the work appeared on the list of greatest hits in the Great Britain; it was interpreted by American soprano Dawn Upshaw and conducted by David Zinman. In USA, the work has dominated the greatest hits of classic music for 38 weeks. They sold in total more than million CDs.

What caused this huge unprecedented interest in this modern piece of classic music? Is it its simplicity and spiritual depth, unusual warmth and light we feel from the composition despite the sorrowful theme of the songs. In Part I, Górecki put psalm 'Mary over her son' to music. The psalm comes from the 15th century monastery. In Part II, we see an inscription from Gestapo cell in Zakopane turned into music, and in Part III, a Silesian folk song, from the period of Polish uprisings, that describes a deep sorrow of a mother over a son who died in war.

The Symphony No. 3 by Henryk Gorecki was studied and prepared by Peter Valentovič, the chief conductor of the Opera Ensemble ŠDKE, along with successful Slovak soprano Slávka Zámečníková, and the Orchestra of the Opera ŠDKE. Slávka Zámečníková is a soloist in the Vienna State Opera where she portrayed, at the end of the previous season, the leading character in Monteverdi’s opera The Coronation of Poppea. She is one of the best singers of our younger generation.

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