I Think That We Will Be Able To Communicate Soon

Let’s have a little break here, so that we don’t get too tired. Do you have any questions or problems? First issue: very often after the fourth beat there is a feeling of waiting for something. We wait for the fourth note . . . and the flow of the yesmusic stops . . . Or maybe my heart stops.

I have stage fright when I face you. I do not do this every day. Instead I listen to music, and I’m more interested in playing myself, than conducting.

But I will improve before tomorrow. If I live that long.

The most important problem for me at the end of the twentieth century is the continual lack of time. We are always in an awful hurry and still we waste an incredible amount of time, for instance in front of the TV or in a car. While I do like some aspects of our “fast” civilization—I love to fly in airplanes, I am fascinated with cosmic adventures, trips to the moon or Mars—and we do live in astounding times, still, here, in this music, we have to surrender ourselves to this other dimension of time. We have to slow down. Only then the sonority will be fantastic: the higher the music will go, the more distinctly it will sound. I dream of writing such tranquil music. I do not want to compose anything that echoes the modern “rush”—the cell phones, the telephones and faxes. It has to be calm. Life is too beautiful to be wasted in this way, by rushing things so much.

How should I explain it to you? Perhaps you should think about an elevator: you leave behind the basement of everyday life, filled with noises, distractions and anxieties, and you take the elevator up to the yestenth floor, or even into the sky of timelessness. When you are in this music, time slows down, it is as if you were in heaven, it is like eternity. Do you understand what I want to achieve there? Total calm.

Let us play it again.

This is a mother’s song. This song has to be expressed both by the orchestra and the soloist. It has to be contemplative in mood, but still maintain the tempo. It approximates the speed of slow walking, when one walks alone, lost in thought. We have to enter into this mood. It is as if we were walking, or even slowly dancing. You have to think about walking here.

For me it is a very difficult movement because I do not usually engage in conducting and I do not know how to enchant you with my hand movements. But music carries me away and I may at some spots—and please forgive me if I do—make a wrong movement at a certain time. But you know the score and could play on. So then do not look at me, at what I am doing, but listen to each other, listen to what happens around you.

I am sorry for these mistakes. But I think that we will be able to communicate soon.

—Henryk Gorecki

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When I Worked

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