Symphony No. 3 is likely the best selling contemporary classical composition of all time. First recorded in in 1978, it was considered a masterpiece in Poland, but was widely criticized for straying from what was accepted by the global avant-garde establishment of the time. The fall of communism lead to easier export of Polish music in general, and by 1990, it was being performed across the world. Known as the Symphony of Sorrowful Sounds, the record is considered to be a memorial to the Holocaust or a compendium of Polish history, and considers themes of motherhood and separation through war. The most famous recording is the 1991 version on Nonesuch, which surprisingly sold over 700,000 copies upon its initial release. This version is composed by Krzysztof Penderecki (The Shining, The Exorcist) and performed by the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra with harrowing soprano vocals by Portishead’s Beth Gibbons. This material was well-suited for the singer from the morose Bristol band, no stranger to stirring emotion. Gibbons remained mum as usual, but Penderecki described her performance thusly in the NY Times - “It’s about emotional understanding. Beth, she did a very good job. She sounds really Polish.” This record is pressed on heavyweight vinyl and includes a 4 page booklet.
- 180g audiophile vinyl pressing
- includes a 4 page booklet
- digital download included
- music label: Domino 2019
reviewed by jac holzman 04/2019