WORKS: OLD PIECES AND NEW
COMPOSER: HENRYK GORECKI
LABEL: KOCH SCHWANN; ELEKTRA NONESUCH
THE BOTTOM LINE: The composer of the hit Third Symphony shows his other facets.
This year's most unexpected hit, classical division, has been Henryk Gorecki's 1976 Symphony No. 3, the "Symphony of Sorrowful Songs" -- a transcendentally dour, radiantly miserable minimalist cogitation on suffering and death for soprano and orchestra. Boosted by savvy marketing and extensive airplay, an Elektra Nonesuch recording of the symphony transformed an obscure Polish composer into a grand master.
But what of Gorecki's other music? Is he just a one-tune wonder, or does he...