Goeyvaerts String Trio: Whispers of Titans review - intense music-making

Whispers of TitansGoeyvaerts String TrioChallenge Classics CC 727134

Whispers of Titans
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Artist: Goeyvaerts String Trio, Henryk Górecki, Nikolai Korndorf
Genre: Classical
Label: Challenge Classics

Forget the Henryk Górecki of the haunting Symphony of Sorrowful Songs of 1976.

The Górecki who wrote Genesis I: Elementi for string trio 14 years earlier, was bewitched by the extremes of the avant-garde, and produced a work often using siren-like slides that is sonically grating, temporally dislocating and emotionally unnerving.

The 1986 In honour of Alfred Schnittke by the Russian emigré Nikolai Korndorff (1947-2001) is simpler, more consonant at first before tilting into a sort of rough-edged, barn-dance minimalism.

The initial calm of the finale is invaded by unsettling discordance, which arose during composition when Korndorf learnt of Schnittke’s first stroke. Short playing time — 47 minutes — but intense music-making.



Michael Dervan

Michael Dervan

Michael Dervan is a music critic and Irish Times contributor