Marian Songs op. 54
After arranging numerous folk songs, Górecki turned to Jan Siedlecki’s 19th-century collection, Church Hymnal, in 1985, and chose four songs devoted to the Virgin Mary from it. With the traditional Hail Mary, they made up the cycle of five Marian Songs for mixed a cappella choir – a modest and moving cycle in which church melodies, familiar to all Catholics devoted to the Virgin Mary, acquired extraordinary nobility of expression. The composer’s mastery is manifested here in his very humble approach to the traditional originals – by adding simple, subtle harmonies, he raises them to the level of works of high artistic quality. The Marian Songs, with the Church Songs written a year later, constitute a beautiful tribute paid by the composer to traditional church songs sung by ordinary people in Poland and, at the same time, are a personal, intimate prayer by Górecki.