Slow, mesmerising, and unforgettable – Gorecki Symphony No. 3 “Sorrowful Songs”

For the first time since its liberation, permission was granted for music to be heard in Auschwitz.

The Music

This forms the central section of a three-part symphony by the Polish composer Henryk Górecki. He was relatively unknown until 1992 when the whole symphony including this piece was released and went on to become a sensation, with over a million sales, topping the classical charts in both he UK and the US. Continue reading “Slow, mesmerising, and unforgettable – Gorecki Symphony No. 3 “Sorrowful Songs””

Posted in Music, Poetry, plays, etc., Quotation

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.[…]

This is the first line from Desiderata, written in 1927 by American writer Max Ehrmann. I first encountered it in the recording by US talk show host Les Crane. It got to number 6 in 1971. I still recall listening to it by candlelight: we had no power due to several weeks of power cuts due to strike action. It went on to become something of a cult, even Mr Spock got in on the act.

I still love it. Especially the line:

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit :)

Copyright?

There remains some confusion over whether it is or indeed ever was in copyright. I will ‘exercise caution’ as the poem advises and use only its opening lines. The full text is here.

Leaving On A Jet Plane

From a time when flying especially in a jet plane was still rare.

I remember age 11, in my first year at the new school, one of my class playing her guitar and singing this in our music lesson. The classroom had posters of Curved Air, and Simon and Garfunkel and a fabulous, young music teacher, with hair like Simon Rattle. And a passion for Petrushka; I can still see him now dancing slowly around the room while we listened to it.