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Damjan Rakonjac

Henryk Górecki’s Loud Silence

Henryk Górecki’s Loud Silence

A feature by Damjan Rakonjac

To the extent that posthumous musical works only receive their public “resurrection” following the death of their composer, they always have a built-in cachet. Hearing them feels like something of a miracle. With large works such as Górecki’s Fourth Symphony Tansman Epizody (“Tansman Episodes”), the sense of awed curiosity is only compounded: unlike with a poem or painting, their creator never really got to experience them in the first place. They seem to bridge the putatively unbridgeable chasm between the realms of the living and the dead. What Górecki jotted down in his last moments assumes its aural form only now that his hand has been forever quieted. The Fourth Symphony fits that mold well, surveying the various styles he adopted throughout his career. . .