Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

Archive for Gorecki

Dr. Bob Prescribes Górecki: Symphony No. 3

I recorded a course entitled Music as a Mirror of History for The Great Courses/Teaching Company in 2015. The concept behind the course was to feature works composed in direct response to historical events, and to discuss those musical works in the context of the events that inspired them. The resulting course was as much – if not more – a history course than a music course, and topics and music spanned a gamut from pro-Elizabeth I propaganda in early seventeenth-century English madrigals to the war in Vietnam as exemplified in George Crumb’s Black Angels for amplified string quartet. (The course garnered for me one of the highest compliments I ever received. At a speaking engagement a couple of years ago a gentleman who introduced himself as an academic and a writer told me how much he enjoyed Music as a Mirror of History. He asked me how long it had taken me to write the thing – it runs about 120,000 words – and I told him a solid seven months. It was then that he inadvertently paid me my compliment, by inquiring as to how many research assistants I employed in writing the course. I laughed out loud; […]

Continue Reading