How can one construct a sincere expression of mourning? It is one of the most difficult things to do, I expect. To compose an authentic expression of sadness and to be able to convey that authenticity to the listener- that will never cease to amaze me. 19th century diminished harmonies and loud minor chords aren’t going to do it these days, they're hackneyed, melodramatic and as insincere as any music can sound. It wasn’t clichéd in Chopin’s time, but today, thousands of movies later, it is.
still, quiet, sweet and expressive as hell. This is very simple, very elegantly sad music. Those lush chords in a very tight musical format- one could imagine Ravel's hand was in this... Speaking of which, Ravel was quite the master of understated emotion. Works like Petit Poucet from Ma mère l'oye or the Minuet from Le Tombeau de Couperin express so much sorrow in so few notes and with great simplicity, not unlike this particular movement. Here, Gorecki has constructed some genuinely tragic music, stripped of any histrionics or artificiality.