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Greg Fox: Sorrow, Big Ears Festival, Knoxville, Tennessee

  • The Mill & Mine 225 East Depot Avenue Knoxville, TN, 37917 United States (map)

COLIN STETSON PRESENTS 'SORROW': A REIMAGINING OF GORECKI'S 3RD SYMPHONY

Henryk Górecki’s 3rd Symphony, composed in 1977, became an unlikely popular success following the 1992 million-selling recording featuring soprano Dawn Upshaw. The sweeping grandeur of the Symphony of Sorrowful Songs has such an undeniable emotive pull that it soon started turning up in numerous films. You’ve probably heard a portion of it, knowingly or not. Fortunately the work is powerful enough to retain its allure even were it to underscore every cinematic plane crash from here on. The Polish text for the symphony’s three movements concerns the separation of children from their mothers, but one need not understand the language to understand the sorrow and loss that is expressed in the music. 

Recently, multi-reedist Colin Stetson recorded a “reimagining” of Gorecki’s 3rd, accompanied by a 10-piece ensemble which often includes violinist Sarah Neufeld of Arcade Fire, drummer Greg Fox of Liturgy and his sister Megan Stetson’s powerful vocals. Lest you be tempted to think so without giving it a listen, this is a far cry from indie rockers punching above their weight; Stetson and company remain faithful to the score and deliver a rendition of this work as moving as any out there. In addition to releasing a half dozen albums under his own name, the in-demand Stetson can be found on recordings by Animal Collective, Arcade Fire, Bon Iver, Tom Waits and many others. 

This iteration of Sorrow will include:
Megan Stetson - Mezzo-Soprano Voice
Colin Stetson - Alto/Bass Saxophones, Contrabass Clarinet
Matt Bauder - Tenor/Baritone Saxophones, Clarinet
Dan Bennett - Tenor/Baritone Saxophones, Clarinet
Sarah Neufeld - Violin
Rebecca Foon - Cello
Ryan Ferreira - Guitar
Grey MacMurray - Guitar
Jeremy Gara - Synth, Guitar
Justin Walter - EVI, Keyboards
Greg Fox - Drums