Friday, November 12, 2010

Henryk Górecki, RIP

We receive the sad report today that Henryk Górecki, one of the finest composers of our age, died earlier today. I recall discovering his Third Symphony, the second movement of which is performed above, when I was but an adolescent, and locking myself in my room to listen to it over and over again. Górecki here talks about the libretto of this movement:

In prison, the whole wall was covered with inscriptions screaming out loud: "I'm innocent," "Murderers," "Executioners," "Free me," "You have to save me"—it was all so loud, so banal. Adults were writing this, while here it is an eighteen-year-old girl, almost a child. And she is so different. She does not despair, does not cry, does not scream for revenge. She does not think about herself; whether she deserves her fate or not. Instead, she only thinks about her mother: because it is her mother who will experience true despair. This inscription was something extraordinary. And it really fascinated me: "Mother, do not cry, no. The purest Queen of Heaven, you always support me. Hail Mary." Here the inscription ended and I added: "You are full of grace." Not "Full of grace" as it is in the prayer, but "You are full of. . ."

Requiem æternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei. Requiescat in pace. Amen.

1 comment: