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Customer Review

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Polish Interpretation, 28 Oct. 2007
This review is from: Górecki - Symphony No 3; Olden Style Pieces (Audio CD)
The previous reviewer is right to say that any version of this symphony will be compared to the 1992 David Zinman/Dawn Upshaw interpretation. But to say that this Antoni Wit/Zofia Kilanowicz version is better is, in my opinion, incorrect. Rather, it offers a slightly different but equally valid interpretation.

Whereas Zinman's has a clarity of line that is crisp and beautiful to behold, the Wit version is more lush. It has a greater depth but this does produce the occasional smudge. Wit produces a good balance between the high and low strings, but the joins between sections are not always seamless. For example, whilst Zofia Kilanowicz's singing is faultlessly beautiful, the return to the canon in the first movement produced no blaze of light, whereas with Zinman the hairs stand out on the back of my neck.

At 56 minutes, the symphony is also played slightly slower: Zinman's comes in at 52 minutes. The lushness and depth of the Wit version is perhaps due to the Polish orchestra, playing the work of one of their own. The performance feels that it is from the heart, genuine and sincere. But perhaps, instead, it is due to its being recorded in a concert hall rather than a studio.

I can highly recommend the extra "Three Olden-Style Pieces". Lasting three, two and four minutes respectively, they are reminiscent of miniatures that might have been composed by Grieg, Vaughan Williams and Vivaldi. They are really mere riffs, but beautifully constructed and played for all that. They appear, they disappear, they go nowhere, but whilst here they are an aural delight.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 8 Apr 2012 20:40:33 BDT
R. R. Adams says:
Thanks for a brilliantly clear compelling comparison between this and the Upshaw version. I shall now purchase Zinman.
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Location: Plymouth, Devon, UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 123