“Henryk Górecki’s Fourth Symphony, co-commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and given its U.S. premiere Friday night in Walt Disney Concert Hall, is powerful and peculiar. Just like the late Polish composer,” writes Mark Swed in Sunday’s (1/18) Los Angeles Times. “It is a symphony that was not expected to exist, let alone sound the astonishing way it does. But that too happens to be in keeping with Górecki … Apparently, Górecki began his Fourth Symphony in the 1990s. But … he only committed to the L.A. Phil commission in 2007. The score was to be given its first performance by Gustavo Dudamel in 2011…. The composer, however, died in 2010, leaving, it was believed, the symphony unfinished. In fact, the piano score for a 40-minute symphony was found among the composer’s papers, and his son, Mikolaj, who also is a composer, has now orchestrated it…. Mikolaj Górecki has done a brilliant job channeling his father. This exceedingly strange and gripping new symphony … was conducted Friday by Andrey Boreyko (who led the world premiere last year with the London Philharmonic, another co-commissioner).… The Górecki Fourth, Opus 85, is a major symphony and possibly a great one.”

Posted January 22, 2015