Górecki + Adams

Henryk Górecki // String Quartet No. 1 (Already It Is Dusk)

John Adams // Shaker Loops

  1. Shaking and Trembling
  2. Hymning Slews
  3. Loops and Verses
  4. A Final Shaking

Magnetic performer and Play On favourite Kristian Winther leads the Play On Collective in two of the twentieth century’s most astonishing musical offerings. To begin, the Collective forms a quartet to journey through dreams and nightmares with Henryk Górecki’s haunting and beautiful night music Already it is Dusk. A leading figure in the Polish avant-garde, Górecki composed this quartet in 1988. The work’s title and main theme derive from a motet A prayer for children going to sleep by the 16th century Polish Renaissance poet and composer Wacław z Szamotuł. Gorecki’s musical language draws on both his serialist training (and the influence of composers like Stockhausen and Webern), and his deep affection for the folk traditions of South Poland.

An interest in the procedures of Minimalism – in particular the work of composers such as Steve Reich and Philip Glass – and a fascination with wave forms led American composer John Adams to begin the compositional explorations that would lead to one of his most astounding works – Shaker Loops. First sketched as a work for string quartet, the piece soon evolved into a more robust and flexible line up of seven strings. Based on simple oscillating melodic cells, or loops, inspired by contemporary tape music Adams writes: ‘The “loops” idea was a technique from the era of tape music where small lengths of prerecorded tape attached end to end could repeat melodic or rhythmic figures ad infinitum (Steve Reich’s It’s Gonna Rain is the paradigm of this technique).'


Kristian Winther // Violin

Nick Waters // Violin

Tom Higham // Viola

Tom Marlin // Cello

Mee Na Lojewski // Cello

Damien Eckersley // Double Bass