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Portishead’s Beth Gibbons releasing orchestral live LP/film (watch the trailer)

Beth Gibbons
photo by Marcin Oliva Soto

Portishead’s Beth Gibbons was recently teasing something on Domino and now details are here. On March 29, Domino will release Henryk Górecki: Symphony No. 3 (Symphony of Sorrowful Songs), an audio and film recording of Beth Gibbons and the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra’s performance of the famed Górecki piece that took place November 29, 2014 at The National Opera Grand Theatre in Warsaw. The performance was conducted by Krzysztof Penderecki. Here’s some more background via press release:

Following an invitation to collaborate at the concert, Beth Gibbons—the elusive yet iconic frontwoman of Portishead, one of the most important British bands of the last two decades—undertook an intense preparation process, including tackling the challenge of learning the Polish original text (and the emotional weight it carries) without speaking the mother language. The other challenge was the music itself. Beth’s voice is, in classical terms, a contralto; Górecki wrote for a soprano, one register higher. While she had ventured into the soprano range before, she hadn’t spent a sustained stretch of time there in performance; she sought the help of both English and Polish vocal coaches. Typical to Beth, the challenge was met and exceeded.

You can watch the trailer and see the artwork and tracklist below.

The November 29, 2014 performance was part of an evening that also included Jonny Greenwood’s 48 Responses To Polymorphia and the world premiere of Bryce Dessner’s Réponse Lutosławski. The day after the show, Jonny Greenwood tweeted, “Respect and admiration for Beth Gibbons singing gorecki symphony 3 last night in Warsaw. Very moving. I hope she performs it many more times.”

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Beth Gibbons Polish orchestra

Tracklist
I. Lento — Sostenuto tranquillo ma cantabile
II. Lento e largo — Tranquillissimo
III. Lento — Cantabile-semplice

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