Just Missed Him

I hate when this happens. I think I even posted about trying to think of all the people I should try to talk to before they die. Most of the composers I’m writing about are already dead. LONG dead. Yesterday it occurred to me—and it’s amazing that this is only just occurring to me—that I should find some living composers to ask them to answer the questions I’ve been pondering. (I’m pretty sure that’s the first time I’ve ever used the word “pondering” in a sentence.)

I made a short list and started looking for them and within seconds found out one of them, the polish composer Henryk Górecki, died just three months ago on November 12. I was that close. If only I had thought of this sooner. Although, it’s not like any of these people are going to agree to answer my questions, but you never know.

My choir performed Gorecki’s Totus Tuus and I just loved it. I see he wrote something called the Symphony of Sorrowful Songs. A man after my own heart. Sigh. Doesn’t he look like a wonderful person? And now my chance to speak to him is lost forever. Damnit. Well, here’s the rest of my short list. Please don’t die composers. (And please agree to speak to me.)

Morten Johannes Lauridsen
Jan Sandstrom
Steven Sametz
Eric Whitacre
John Tavener

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

4 thoughts on “Just Missed Him

  1. A very moving version of the Symphony of Sorrowful Songs can be seen on Youtube– it was filmed at Auschwitz in 2007, I think.The piece was inspired by the inscription on a cell wall carved by an 18-yr. old Polish girl who was killed by the Gestapo. Gorecki used the inscription as the lyrics. In this version, Isabel Bayrakdaraian is the soprano. It’s an extremely haunting piece. Here’s the link:

  2. Thank you so much for the link. Astounding. Why isn’t Gorecki more famous?

    But that was beautiful, the piece, the musicians, the soprano, the filming. Thank you for posting the link.

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