Saxophonist/composer Colin Stetson's New History Warfare trilogy is home to some of the last decade's most compelling and original music, and his new project, Sorrow: A Reimagining of Górecki's 3rd Symphony, is no different. Stetson says his first encounter with the Polish composer's opus was transformational for him, and his interpretation on Sorrow draws on elements of black metal and early electronic music as well as featuring his own trademark bass saxophone.
Górecki's Catholic faith played a major role in his work (the symphony's first movement, sampled below, is Mary's lament following Jesus' death) and Stetson's tribute to him follows a number of other deeply religious pieces included in his New History Warfare series. Judges had a haunting rendition of "Lord I Just Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes" (featuring My Brightest Diamond's Shara Worden) and on the final installment, To See More Light, Justin Vernon sang a cover of "What Are They Doing in Heaven Today?" by Washington Phillips.
Listen to a short extract from the record's 28-minute first movement below, but know that it does no justice to the full symphony, which has the deliberate pace and immense power of a glacier. Please, please give Sorrow a listen - our highest recommendation.