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Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
Photo © Gerry Hurkmans
Górecki's early works were influenced by Messiaen, with whom he studied briefly in Paris in the early 1960s. The Communist regime's stark disapproval of his music resulted in him using folk music as a basis for works such as
Three Pieces in Old Style
(1963). His growing interested in Christianity became evident in his Second Symphony (1972), which sets a text by Copernicus in praise of God. Górecki has composed few works since 1980; however, global success came in the late 1980s with his Symphony No 3 'A Symphony of Sorrowful Songs', written fifteen years earlier.