Performed by:

Chicago Symphony Chorus
Lyric Opera of Chicago Chorus
John Nelson, conductor

Miserere. Op. 44
Amen, Op. 35
Euntes Ibant et Flebant, Op 32
Wislo Moja, Wislo Szara, Op. 46




Lira Chamber Chorus
Lucy Ding, conductor

Szeroka Woda, Op. 39
     (“Broad Waters”)
A Ta Nasza Narew
Oj, Kiedy Na Powislu
Oj, Janie, Janie
Polone Róze Rwala
Szeroka Woda

Listen: Miserere


Excerpt 1

Excerpt 2

Excerpt 3

Audio courtesy of Nonesuch Records.


Miserere CD

Miserere CDThe Lyric Opera of Chicago Chorus and the Chicago Symphony Chorus join for the first time in a history-making concert sponsored by Soli Deo Gloria: the North American premiere of Henryk Górecki's massive a cappella choral work, Miserere.

1994 Electra/Nonesuch. Includes Miserere, Op. 44 and additional Gorecki works based on Polish folk songs.

List Price: $16.00



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Gorecki at the North American premiere
Henryk Górecki
at St. Mary of the Angels Church,
for the North American premiere


An Historic Performance

The historic performances from which this recording was made took place in Chicago's beautiful St. Mary of the Angel's Church, with the composer in attendance. Following the unprecedented widespread appeal of earlier Górecki recordings, the Miserere CD quickly became a best-seller. Within weeks of its release, Miserere found its way onto Billboard's top 10 classical chart and has since sold over 100,000 copies worldwide.

Originally written as Gorecki's personal protest at violence in Poland, the Miserere is a heartfelt plea for peace and understanding. Fittingly, the Polish National Alliance based in Chicago, which represents the largest Polish community outside of Warsaw, helped secure the North American premiere, sponsored by Soli Deo Gloria.


“Solid success . . . serenely beautiful and deeply moving…Nelson is an expert choral technician, and under his vital direction…their sound was full of expressive understanding, resounding magnificently in the high-dome church.”—John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune


Conductor John Nelson with Henryk Górecki
Conductor John Nelson
with Henryk Górecki

Listeners' Response

“The vocal and emotional range of the piece are beyond description as it takes listeners from the depths of their souls.”

[The Miserere nobis] is the purest, most emotional moment in music history I ever heard. It simply is breath-taking.”

“An atmospheric, intense and utterly compelling piece.”

“Conductor John Nelson is the perfect fit for this deeply spiritual work … His intuitive feel for the message heightens the complexity and subtlety of the expressiveness of this benchmark work.”

“This album contains some of the most emotionally heart wrenching music that I have ever heard.”


Folk Songs

In addition to the haunting performance of Miserere, the CD also includes a collection of Górecki's choral works, performed by the Lira Chamber Chorus. Górecki was fascinated by the folk songs of Poland, and he drew on these traditional words and melodies to compose over forty individual church and folk song pieces.