Frosty Prophet of Grasshopping Summer

Colin Stetson has reimagined Górecki’s Symphony No. 3 as Sorrow. Reimagined in the same way that Dirty Projectors did Black Flag with Rise Above, or Christopher Logue did Homer’s Iliad with War Music—it’s a cover, in a sense, but it’s so full of interpolation and new creation that it becomes a different, separate thing. Sorrow is a work of obsession and devotion. Stetson has remarked that the impetus for the project came from listening to Górecki’s work over and over again and wanting to understand it fully. What Stetson has made is a Symphony No. 3 that seethes and crashes, that builds and dissipates like a thunderstorm. There is Stetson’s sax and his sister Megan’s voice—those elements guide you through the lashing percussion and the squalling strings. This album is a big, staggering piece of music, full of pockets of detail that don’t become apparent or parseable until the third or fourth time through; it rewards sustained attention and repeated listens.

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