On the Edge of Endurance

On the Edge of Endurance


Górecki‘s Symphony #3

Like Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings, Górecki‘s Symphony No. 3 brings us to the extreme of grief, holds us there, locks us in that eternal space, with no escape, no way out, except through a kind of mysterium of hope. A mystery of overcoming something no one can overcome.

In this piece, motherhood is the focus, extreme suffering is the focus, cruelty is the plague. The Holocaust is a driving force for one of the movements, and it drives the vocalist to express something that can’t be expressed outside of music.

Theodor Adorno once said that “to write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric.” But that didn’t stop Paul Celan, whose Deathfugue may be the single greatest poetic expression of unendurable grief ever written.

I feel extreme sadness for anyone who can’t see what war and empire really are, who benefits from that monstrous, ugly couple, who pays for it, who profits from it. I feel nothing but disgust for anyone who thinks empire is good.


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