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Symphony of Sorrowful Songs - Henryk Górecki - 1st movement

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Published on Aug 18, 2008

Lento—Sostenuto tranquillo ma cantabile

(only the second part of the 1st movement)

Typically 27 minutes in duration, the first movement equals the combined length of the second and third movements,[9] and is based on a late-15th century lament of Mary from the Lysagora Songs collection of the Holy Cross Monastery in the Świętokrzyskie Mountains. Comprising three thematic sections, the movement opens with a canon in ten parts using a 24-bar melody in the Aeolian mode on E. It begins with double basses, and each succeeding entry occurs one measure later (i.e., a new entry begins every 25 measures), starting a fifth above the last. After the canon reaches a full 10 parts, it works its way back to a single pitch. The soprano enters in the second section and builds to a climax on the final word, at which point the strings enter forcefully with the climax of the opening canon. The third section of the movement (Lento—Cantabile semplice) is a long dénouement that also winds down to a single pitch.

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