I woke up this morning to read the sad news that Gorecki has passed away (NYTimes Article). I remember when Symphony No.3 became extremely popular in the 90′s and having quite a fantastic experience listening to it while driving down Riverside Drive on my way back to school. A beautiful day, listening to the 1st movement at full volume, driving through fall colors…
I had read a book on Gorecki around that time, and it was his description of going to his composition lessons on a train and seeing the Polish countryside that originally seeded the desire to visit Poland. A few years later I managed to make my first trip to Poland, staying on my own for seven weeks in Krakow, one of the most fruitful experiences in my life.
I also remember an amazing concert of Miserere at the Warsaw Autumn in 2006. In a church in Nowy Miasto, I remember an issue that they wouldn’t be singing it but then they ended up doing so and it was just wonderful. The acoustics of the room with the delay of the sounds that came strongly from up above was excellent.
I am sad to hear Gorecki has passed away. I have and continue to enjoy his music from his avant-garde days to today, and will I know I will continue to listen and think about his music and his life well into the future.