Date: Wed, 20 Nov 2002 13:17:16 -0600
Subject: [Centaurs] Henryk Górecki
Thinking on the Kindertotenlieder made me realize that there is a much more modern, more poignant, and more dazzling set of verses and music on the same subject, and that is Gorecki's Symphony No.3, "Symphony of Sorrowful Songs", written in 1976, a "minimalist" composition of immense, almost infinite, emotional power.
Górecki (pronounced "Goreski") was only a "local" contemporary Polish composer until, to his surprise and everybody else's, one recording of his 1976 Symphony, made in London in May 1991, was released early in 1992. Shortly after its release by Elektra Nonesuch, it had sold the unprecedented amount of 60,000 copies, and by the beginning of 1994, sales were calculated to be between 800,000 to 1 million.
No other classical composer ever sold so much, by a very large margin. It is a historical landmark in classical music that left everybody wondering: what was happening in the world, that people was so hungry for this music? What were people getting from this particular recording of this particular music that made it into the greatest classical hit of all times?
If you want to know, you will have to hear the music yourself, especially the first movement, and, particularly the Electra-Nonesuch recording of 1991 featuring soprano Dawn Upshaw and the London Sinfonieta directed by David Zinman. Many other versions by other performers came soon after its success, but this is the recording that so phenomenally broke the record charts.
It is my intention to explore this astrologically.
I have written of Gorecki before, and would like to extract the relevant parts here:
Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2001 08:06:23 -0600
Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2001 09:39:23 -0600
I will use one of the best non-technical descriptions I found, which starts like this:
<<Composed in Katowice in 1976 by the Polish composer, Henryk Górecki, it belongs to the group of music called Spiritual Minimalism. The Symphony has a prayer-like quality, is slow in tempo and uses very little material to "grow" huge musical structures. While modern and "postmodern" music still retained its experimental, dissonant and "inaccessible" reputation, the "Symphony of Sorrowful Songs" radiated within its darkness a powerful and universal light. Its simple harmonies spoke of its simple messages, its need to tell the world of its terrible story but also its prayer of hope.>> http://inkpot.com/classical/goreckisym3.htmlI would extend the meaning of the word "hope" here and say: universal prayer of unlimited hope, faith, and compassion.
Henryk Górecki was born December 6, 1933, in Czernica, in the south-west part of Polland. His Sun is in exact conjunction with 1998WU24, a damoclian object (i.e. a pseudo-comet or dead comet) with a period of 59 years that connects the orbit of Mars to that of Neptune. But there are other possibilities, since I don't know the time of birth (do we have Polish investigators in this forum?). At noon GMT the day of his birth, I find:
Neptune = 12,22 Virgo (tropical)
TC36 is one of the brightest and largest plutinos, of about 700 Km in diameter and a distance range identical to that of Pluto. It is a "concentrated Pluto", with half the orbital inclination or "dynamical flexibility" of Pluto.
Unfortunately, without the hour of birth it is not possible to know where is the Moon. But at 12 GMT it is in 2,04 Leo, so we can ask ourselves the same question as in the case of Tchaikovsky: was he born with the Moon in Cancer or in Leo? My feeling, is that he had the Moon in early Leo (the faith), which opens the following possibilities:
Venus = 0,42 Aquarius
Here, TL66, as far as I am concerned, undoubtedly means "the spiritual light".
I will leave you with the rest of the description of the 3rd Symphony (from the reference above, written by Chia Han-Leon). I will be using this material later.
The complete text by Chia Han-Leon is found here
Date: Thu, 21 Nov 2002 12:28:07 -0600
I have not found exact dates on anything of Gorecki, except his birthday. This limits the investigation a lot, since the Sun of a 1st performance or of a recording, etc. gives very important clues.
He composed his 3rd Symphony in Katowice in 1976, and dedicated it to his wife. It was first performed in April of 1976 by the orchestra of South-West German Radio under Ernest Bour.
I use the sidereal zodiac in order to account for precession. First, I note the importance of Neptune at birth:
Sun = 20,07 Scorpio (12h GMT)
Then, I note transiting Neptune during the composition and the 1st performance of his 3rd Symphony:
1 Jan 1976 18Sc07.1
NOTE added later: the premiere was in April, 1977 (see below for the post analyzing the correction, which didn't change the exactness of the Neptune/Sun transit)
This transit is critical in his life because if allows to integrate (conjunction) what at birth is divided (square). The Neptune energies that have challenged the integrity of his Sun all his life are being united in a new light here, giving him the opportunity to "embrace Neptune" instead of having to fight with it. That same year he had been awarded by the Polish State ("State Award of the First Degree", whatever that means), but apparently, because of his commitment to sacred music and his very strong Catholicism, he had always had problems with the Communist Government. Here we see one clear manifestation of the Sun/Neptune square:
<<Henryk Gorecki's life in Poland has
been touched by tragedy. His step-grandfather died in a concentration camp
and during his life Gorecki was harassed by the Communist regime.>>
<<During the 1950s and 60s, he was one
of the foremost Polish experimentalists. Communist censors removed the
end of his first symphony; even Boulez was shocked at the aural assault
of Collisions (1960).>>
I think the "aural assault" is an image that belongs to his Sun/TC36 which should be modelled at least in part after Sun/Pluto, it is not a Sun square Neptune image (or maybe it is Sun/WU24?).
The following account offers interesting insights about Goecki as a person:
<<When Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki first came to America in 1992, he wasn't yet famous. His Third Symphony, newly released on Nonesuch Records, hadn't yet shot to No. 6 on the British pop charts or settled in for its long run on top of the classical charts here. So Gorecki didn't ask to meet Madonna or the New York Philharmonic. In fact, says Carol Yaple, then vice president for artist development at Nonesuch and now an independent producer of special musical events, he made just two requests. One was for a cardiologist; the other was to see some mountains. Yaple made sure a doctor was on hand. Gorecki's health is poor; he has had heart attacks and kidney trouble, even a brain tumor. But where could she find mountains close to New York City? She compromised and took Gorecki to a crowded park above the Hudson River called Bear Mountain, though it's really just a chain of woodsy hills. "There he was," she remembers, smiling, "with that bad leg" (he limps from a childhood injury), walking everywhere, far from his native Poland, but "ecstatic" and completely at home.>> http://www.gregsandow.com/gorecki.htm
I can feel the Sun/Neptune square here strongly, but can see also the Sun/Pluto overtones expected from Sun/TC36. Continuing with the same reference:
<<Who is this man who loves mountains more than fame? What do we know about the first living classical composer to sell a million records who, starting tonight, is going to be honored with four days of concerts, appearances and discussions at USC? If all goes as scheduled, he'll even conduct his Third Symphony for the first time in America. But here the plans conflict with Gorecki's reputation, because he's often said to be a recluse. And certainly the 63-year-old composer won't allow himself to be a public figure. He was wary, Yaple says, of press attention; on this trip, he won't allow press conferences or face-to-face interviews.>>
All this is reflected in his music. The music and the man are one.
This takes me back to the 3rd Symphony, which represents the blending of the Sun and Neptune. I will deal with this symphony in more detail later, based on the description posted yesterday.
In the following, all quotes are taken from the Gorecki Portrait for the Los Angeles Times, written by Greg Shadow, published October 1, 1997 (the url reference above):
<<He doesn't live in Poland's intellectual
and artistic center, Warsaw, but instead (with his wife and two children)
in the industrial city of Katowice, near the Tatra Mountains, a rugged
region he prefers to any other place on Earth. He travels to the English-speaking
world for Polish events more often than for performances. And, according
to Maria Anna Harley, professor of music and director of the Polish Music
Reference Center at USC (and creator of this week's festival), he'll turn
around and leave if the arrangements don't suit him.
Now see the Sun/Pluto overtones, presumably coming from Sun/TC36:
<<It's also true, however, that he has
been isolated. That's partly because of his health. But it's also because
-- as a fervent Catholic and supporter of Pope John Paul II -- he fought
with Poland's former ruling communists. "Little yapping dogs," he calls
them now, but in 1979, they forced him to resign from an important teaching
job. "They treated me as if I was dead," he later said.
Here are the extremes, the light/darkness, the passion, the depths, the abrassiveness one would expect from all plutinos:
<<But that simplicity can be deceptive,
because Gorecki's music stretches toward extremes. Much of the Third Symphony
is low-pitched, painted in a thousand shades of darkness. It's static,
sorrowful, and all of it is slow. In the Dutch video, Gorecki plays a new
work on the piano, treating the slow parts, where time nearly stops, with
rapt attention. Then, when the music gets faster, he attacks it with almost
shocking ferocity. "Everything with him has to be maximum," Harley says,
"played with maximum passion."
And now the Sun conjunct Neptune (the honesty), Sun conjunct TC36 (the depth), both being "distant echoes":
<<What people find arresting in the work, however, might be Gorecki's honesty, along with a sense of religious awe. Robert Hurwitz, the president of Nonesuch Records, says Gorecki has "a depth that you don't find in Western music." Harley finds him "white-hot, reaching into archetypes." Gorecki himself won't speak about the deepest meaning of his work, though he did once quote the pope: "[Artists] know that what they do is only a distant echo of God's word.">> http://www.gregsandow.com/gorecki.htm
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 2002 07:27:56 -0600
We saw that the composition and 1st performance of the 3rd Symphony in 1976 marked the blending of Sun and Neptune in Gorecki's chart, and that the natal Sun/TC36 could explain the Sun/Pluto overtones of his personality and of all his compositions. But astrologically, TC36 is really secondary compared to the more focal position of the damocloid 1998WU24.
Normally, I ignore damocloids in my analysis. I still have that size prejudice (WU24, for example, is about 5 Km in diameter), and they belong to a different dynamical category, being the closest one can get to a comet. They are actually "dark" comets, comets that have become inactive or are inactive temporarily, not unlike, perhaps, inactive (but not "dead") volcanoes.
So, in the name of consistency, it is very difficult for me to consider damocloids and ignore comets.
Remember the extraordinary, completely unprecedented rise to fame and popularity of Gorecki in 1992 after the release of the Elektra-Nonesuch recording of his 3rd Symphony. More than a marketing phenomenon, this was a cultural phenomenon, probably a symptom of a deep longing for awe of the sacred or for "God's voice" in the Western world.
This phenomenon probably has different angles astrologically. It resembles the visitation of a comet. In terms of Gorecki's chart at least, the damocloid 1998WU24 seems to chart it very well.
There is a text file that you can download with the calculated uncertainties, the assumed diameters, the distance range, orbital period, orbital arc observed, brightness compared to Pluto and Varuna, etc, of ALL the 120+ bodies of Riyal. It can be downloaded here:
Sun = 20,07 Scorpio (sidereal)
The recording of the strings-only 3rd Symphony, with David Zinman conducting the London Sinfonieta and soprano Dawn Upshaw, was made in May 1991 at CTS Studios in London, but the same performers had been doing live performances of the same work long before.
In early 1992, when the sales of this recording rose spectacularly to everybody's amazement, the composer was 58 years old, not far from his WU24 return at 59-60.
WU24 reached its aphelion, close to the distance of Neptune, on 27 August 1970. By mid-1992 it was at the point of its maximum crossing angle (64deg45'). An examination of the WU24 transits over Gorecki's natal Sun (i.e., repeating its birth configuration) shows the following dates for the conjunction:
0 = 10 Mar 1987, 1st approach (stat. retr. in
In September 1992, WU24 was stationary retrograde in 20,53 Scorpio (sidereal), making the last effective pass over the natal Sun. These multiple conjunctions, considering that they are in exact conjunction at birth, represent a "spectacular" seeding of the Sun by WU24.
Recall the composer's statement: <<I can tell you why I wear red or green pants, but not what happened, or why it happened.>>. But It seems to me that from the above, one can say that, astrologically, without fear of being wrong or of exaggeration, the sociological phenomenon ("event sociologique") of Gorecki's 3rd Symphony rise to fame --and consequently of the composer himself--, at least from the point of view of the composer's birth chart, was a Sun/WU24 phenomenon.
I have not the slightest idea of what WU24 means. I know it will take me a long time before I figure that out, especially because Damocloids like this one, travelling from the inner to the outer solar system, are dynamically and physically very different from centaurs and transneptunians. I feel they represent a different concept, and I still don't grasp what the essence of that concept may be, as I can do with the other classes.
In astrological terms, I can say that Gorecki's 3rd symphony is mainly Sun/Neptune, plus Sun/TC36 and Sun/WU24, the last being for the moment the most mysterious of all. I end this post with notes based on orbital symbolism on a commentary written about Gorecki's music:
<<There are those artists who, through their use of symbolism [Neptune], create an atmosphere that leads to a profound sense of contemplation and loneliness [the transneptunian belt]. These artists accompany us, like Dante's Virgil [the Plutinos, no doubt], to the deepest ramparts of our own being [the plutinos at aphelion]. It is here where our faith lies, the most private of human dwellings [Neptune].
Perhaps what WU24 is doing is joining the Neptune/trans-Neptune world with this "profane", materialistic, and competitive world of ours (Mars), and this is the key to understand its role in Gorecki's chart and to understand what the "Gorecki phenomenon" is about. Maybe WU24 does not speak of the characteristics of his music but of the impact it was destined to have. WU24 brought his music to the world of marketing and banality... etc.
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 2002 11:09:25 -0600
Here is one date that provides some beautiful correspondences. I posted this already, taken from
It is part of a description of the Second Movement of the 3rd Symphony:
26 September 1944, 12h GMT, sidereal zodiac:
Sun = 9,18 Virgo
Hylonome is how the composer sees the 18-year old girl who wrote the inscription on the wall, Neptune is the confirmation of how the Symphoby blends Neptune and the Sun. We already found the association of Hylonome with the Virgin Mary in the examination of Bulwer-Lytton's "Zanoni", and have recently mentioned it in the case of Mahler in a personal reference to him by Freud.
I have to make one correction regarding the time of the composition and the first performance of the 3rd Symphony. I had used an Internet reference that said wrongly that the 1st performance was in 1976, but it was 1977:
<<Composed in Katowice during the last 3 months of 1976, and dedicated to Gorecki's wife, the Symphony was first performed in April of the following year by the orchestra of South-West German Radio (Baden-Baden), under its conductor Ernest Bour. Orchestra and conductor alike were (and are) famed for their interpretation of the most "advanced" contemporary music; and the festival of Royan, at which the premiere took place, was likewise famed for supporting it.>> [ref.: Elektra-Nonesuch CD notes written by David Drew, February, 1992].
With this clue as to the Royan Festival, I found the exact date of the premiere here:
<<premiere: 4 April 1977, Royan International Festival of Contemporary Art: Stefania Woytowicz - soprano, South-West German Radio Symphony Orchestra, Ernest Bour - cond.>>I check transiting Neptune the last 3 months of 1976 first:
1 Oct 1976| 17Sc11.1The above reference puts the date of composition <<30 October - 30 December 1976>>
As we can see, the mathematics of the Sun/Neptune transit doesn't change (natal Sun at 12 GMT in 20, 07 Scorpio). Neptune had gone retrograde after making a first approach to the natal Sun and now it was passing over the Sun with great impetus. On the date of the premiere (4 April 1977, 18h GMT):
Pluto = 18,20 Virgo
Unfortunately I couldn't find the exact date of the famous recording in May, 1991. The CD was released in April, 1992. Let's check transiting Neptune in May 1991:
1 May 1991| 22Sa06 |If we take the Sun/Venus conjunction in 20-22 Pisces as the birth chart of the Symphony, we can see that the recording was triggered by Neptune, confirming once more its heavy Neptune/Sun signature.
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 2002 11:53:55 -0600
"In early 1992, when the sales of this recording rose spectacularly to everybody's amazement, the composer was 62 years old, not far from his WU24 return at 59-60."
Well, I made another mistake here. On April 1992, when the recording was released, Gorecki was 58. On 21 January 1994, when it received the "1993 Recording of the Year" award by the Classical Music Awards, London, he was 60. So the return of WU24 charted the event to perfection.
By the way, this award date reiterates the Sun/Venus conjunction of the 1976 premiere of the Symphony:
Sun 1994 award = 6,48 Capricorn
The significance of this date is enhanced if we consider the natal Venus of Gorecki:
Gorecki natal Venus = 6,53 Capricorn
and by its very interesting TD10 signature:
TD10 1994 award = 6,30 Capricorn
the date (21 Jan 1994) is found here: