The choral music of Henryk Górecki fortunately is being performed more regularly of late and this recording by the National Youth Choir of Great Britain, conducted by Mike Brewer is excellent. The entire album is now available (previously only excerpts on MP3 were available), and the sound of the recording is rich and spacious.
Gorecki may not be a minimalist in the strict sense of the term, but his choral works are all about deriving maximum impact from minimal material. `This is most evident in the ingenious simplicity of "Euntes Ibant et Flebant", the forest of harmonies growing from a basic three-note seed: it's performed with a consummate poise which allows this sublime sound to float heavenwards. The minimalism reaches its apogee in the final section of "Salve, Sidus Polonorum", where he demonstrates the ability to derive momentum from the repetition of the single word "Alleluia". The result is breathtaking.
The tracks on this album are as follows:
Euntes Ibant et Flebant, Op. 32
Totus Tuus, Op. 60
Salve, sidus Polonorum, Op.72
Per merita sancti Adalberti (Through the merits of St Adalbert),
Swiety Wojciechu Patronie nasz drogi (St Wojciech, Our dear patron)
Salve, sidus Polonorum (Hail, star of the Polish people)
Amen, Op. 35
Highly recommended, Grady Harp, June 12