Written in response to the turmoil in Poland during the 1981 riots created by the Solidarity movement in which Polish Police beat workers who were protesting. The simple lyric Domine Deus Noster (Lord our God) is repeated for 30 minutes, the lyric Miserere Nobis (Have mercy on us) is reserved for the final 2 minutes. The song was penned in 1981, but amazingly, could not be performed until 1987 for political reasons.
This powerful meditative piece is structured such that the choir, singing acapella, is introduced literally from the bottom up. The 2nd basses sing a chant for a few minutes with the 1st basses then joining in, followed by the 2nd tenors after a bit, then 1st tenors, etc. each part having its own color and part in the harmony. It starts slow, gradually building, requiring the listener to be patient, the reward for this is all the more sweet. (Don’t be tempted to dismiss this as a boring piece of crap until at least 16 minutes have passed)
As the piece progresses it goes through a range of emotions from tender to anger and sorrow. It is incredible how such a simple idea of repeating a simple lyric in a myriad of ways can convey so much. The real beauty of the piece glimmers during the 16th to 19th minutes, after methodically building layers on, Gorecki breaks into a gorgeous tender moment that will leave your spine tingling and bring tears to your eyes like few moments in music can do. (at least it does for me each time and I've listened to the work many times) Just to think about how a proud people, such as the Poles, could be brought to the point where they are beating on each other to try and limit the freedom of workers to establish better lives for themselves apart from the communist ideals being dictated by the Soviet Block at the time….. trying to imagine how the Police Officers felt after having to thrash on their fellow countrymen, the words "Lord our God, have mercy on us" are so appropriate.
Sit back and listen to this on a quiet day with a calm mind and no distractions, get the stereo cranked up a bit louder than normal and prepare to be moved.
I'm sure you'll enjoy this, Please seed.
128Kbs MP3 file 32:39 Run Time
Recorded in 1994 by the combined Chicago Lyric & Symphony Choirs.