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Portishead Singer to Release Album Recorded with Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra30.01.2019

Symphony No. 3 (Symphony of Sorrowful Songs) is a collaboration between Beth Gibbons, the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, and director Krzysztof Penderecki. 

The album will be accompanied by footage shot by Michał Merczyński. The National Audiovisual Institute (currently rebranded FINA after its merger with the National Film Archive) produced the record. 

Beth Gibbons & the Polish National Radio Symphony - Henryk Górecki: Symphony No. 3 (Trailer)

Beth Gibbons is best known as the singer of Portishead, one of the most important bands to emerge from the trip-hop scene of the 1990s. She was the voice behind the group’s most haunting tracks, including Glory Box, Numb, and Wandering Star. Her participation in a project revolving around Henryk Mikołaj Górecki should not come as a surprise, though. The album was recorded already a couple of years ago, on November 29, 2014, at a special performance at the National Opera Grand Theater in Warsaw. The event featured the work of three highly acclaimed Polish composers, Witold Lutosławski, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, and Krzysztof Penderecki, creatively reinterpreted by musicians associated with the alternative scene—Beth Gibbons of Portishead, Bryce Dessner of The National, and Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood. 

Symphony No. 3, Op. 36, also known as the Symphony of Sorrowful Songs, is a symphony in three movements composed by Henryk Mikołaj Górecki. The symphony features lyrics written entirely in Polish so Gibbons, who doesn’t know the language, had to sing the text from a phonetic transcription. She also had to abandon her natural contralto range and sing the text in soprano.

The album will be released on March by Domino Records. For more information about the project, see Beth Gibbons’ website.

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