Henryk M. Gorecki

Almost four years after Henryk Górecki’s death, his Symphony No.4 (Tansman Episodes) received its premiere yesterday by the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Andrey Boreyko at the Royal Festival Hall. Performances by co-commissioners the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Zaterdag Matinee series at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam follow in the 2014/15 and 2015/16 seasons respectively. The symphony was complete in short score with detailed annotations of orchestration and dynamics, as was the composer’s usual practice. The orchestral score, with prominent obbligato roles for piano and organ, has been realised from the particell by Górecki’s son Mikolaj, also a composer, following his father’s instructions and employing an extensive knowledge of his orchestral works and instrumentation.

As the composer’s publisher, Boosey and Hawkes communicates, the fourth symphony does not emulate the distinct character of its vocal predecessor, the celebrated Symphony of Sorrowful Songs, but rather reflects the composer’s musical journey as a whole while paying homage to his fellow-Polish composer Alexsander Tansman (1897-1986).

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