Henryk Mikolaj GoreckiHenryk Górecki‎ died today. He was 76 years old. Like many others, I'll be forever moved by the second movement of the Polish composer's masterful Symphony No. 3, the "Symphony of Sorrowful Songs" — a glint of beauty that is ours to keep forever. NPR's Thomas Huizenga writes:

"The symphony, which Gorecki wrote in 1976, is centered on three texts — including a prayer inscribed by a teenager on a cell wall of a Gestapo headquarters — which the composer turned into haunting laments, backed by simple, slowly churning surges of beautiful music."

The excerpt above features soprano Isabel Bayrakdaraian and Sinfonietta Cracovia, conducted by John Axelrod, performing Górecki’s masterpiece for Holocaust: A Music Memorial Film from Auschwitz. And, if you haven’t heard Dawn Upshaw’s 1992 version that catapulted his work to international fame, I recommend purchasing the recording right away.

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So deeply moving. And to hear it performed in that God-forsaken place. . . unforgettable.

And God reclaimed that god-forsaken place, with this beautiful music; may angels' flight wing thee home, Henryk G; thank you for the beauty, thank you for the memorial to such a unspeakable tragedy---

Thank you for sharing such sorrowful beauty with us.

Haunting. Unforgettable. Thank you, Trent.

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Upon initially hearing Dawn Upshaw and Goreki's Symphony # 3 in 1976 mu heart reacted as hearts were meant to in such circumstances; it was torn asunder and ultimately reconstructed with the magnificence and healing energy of love and compassion which the recording engendered. How this excerpt found it's way back to me on this very day when I finished reading Sister Helen Prejean's book "Dead Man Walking" is nothing short of a miracle. My heart has been made whole again. Bless you.