Henryk Górecki

Church Songs, Op. 84

Polski Ch?r Kameralny
Jan Lukaszewski, conductor



Sleeve notes in English, sung texts with English translation

World première recording of Church Songs, Op. 84 sung in Latin

2 CDs

May 2023

Catalogue No.:
ODE 1428-2D


Track listing

CD 1 52:26
Henryk Mikolaj Górecki (1933-2010)
Church Songs, Op. 84 52:26
1 O Virgo Maria 6:37
2 Sicut parvi amplectamur 4:39
3 Veni, o mater terrae 10:10
4 O mater semper alma 7:49
5 Nunc avemus et laudemus 2:19
6 Ave, carmina milia 4:38
7 O stella caeli 0:57
8 Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus 2:24
9 Domine Deus 12:47

CD 2 46:35
Henryk Mikolaj Górecki (1933-2010)
Church Songs, Op. 84 46:35
1 Popule meus 8:53
2 Pie Jesu, pastor alme 4:18
3 Jesu Christe, frater noster 4:58
4 Pater noster, omnipotens Deus 4:45
5 Ave, lauderis 1:04
6 Christi crux 2:45
7 Jesus Christus resurrexit 3:10
8 Beati qui eligunt Joseph 6:00
9 Salve mater matris Jesu 3:42
10 Jam conclamamus 4:01
11 Audi clamantes, audi plorantes 2:53

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Complete description

Henryk Mikołaj Górecki (1933–2010) achieved an international success in the mid-1990s, with his Symphony No. 3, “Symphony of Sorrowful Songs”. Since then, Górecki’s name has been associated almost exclusively with this piece. However, his music is much more than this one brilliant work. Górecki never looked at musical fashions, but consistently created his own sound universe. In the 1980s Górecki, feeling misunderstood, stepped back from the official concert life in Poland. He reached out to simple folk and church melodies, making their choral arrangements. He treated them with a great devotion and humility. In 1985, the composer drew on traditional church songs collected in the 19th-century Śpiewnik kościelny (Church Songbook) by Jan Siedlecki. He first selected five songs from it, which made up the cycle of five Marian Songs, Op. 54, for mixed choir a cappella. A year later, Górecki decided to compile other church songs of various character and associated with different liturgical seasons. This led to a collection of twenty Church Songs for a cappella choir today known as his Op. 84. Apart from two, the songs were not published during composer’s lifetime. This album by the Polish Chamber Choir led by Jan Łukaszewski offers this choral gem for the first time sang in Latin.


The Polski Chór Kameralny is an outstanding, fully professional ensemble whose hallmarks are its unique sound, supreme technical skills and depth of feeling, as well as a truly broad repertoire. It has won acclaim not only in Poland’s most renowned concert venues but also in many prestigious music centres across Europe, in North America and Asia. The ensemble was founded in 1978 in Gdańsk on the initiative of Ireneusz Łukaszewski, who became its first artistic director. In 1983, his duties were taken over by his brother Jan Łukaszewski. The Choir has also established a high reputation for its performances of contemporary music, having given world premieres of over 700 works, including those by such composers as Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, Wojciech Kilar and Krzysztof Penderecki. The discography of the Polsky Chór Kameralny comprises over 80 albums, about 20 of which have been nominated for the Fryderyk Award of the Polish recording industry and five of which have received this prestigious accolade. The Polski Chór Kameralny under Jan Łukaszewski was the first choir in the world to have recorded Penderecki’s entire output for unaccompanied choir.


Jan Łukaszewski is an outstanding conductor, a highly regarded teacher and an accomplished organizer of musical life. Since 1983 he has directed the Polski Chór Kameralny, with which he has given almost 700 premieres and made several hundred recordings for radio and television, as well as over 80 albums. He has conducted several thousand concerts in Poland, almost all European countries, the United States, Canada, China and Japan. He has worked closely with the singers Julia Lezhneva, Simone Kermes and Emma Kirkby. As an orchestral conductor, he has performed with Sinfonia Varsovia, the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Academy of Ancient Music, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, and Venice Baroque Orchestra. A professor of musical arts, Jan Łukaszewski has several prestigious honours to his name, including the Gloria Artis Silver Medal of Cultural Merit (2008), the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Reborn Poland (2018) and an award from the Board of the ZAiKS Authors’ and Composers’ Association (2020, 2022). In 2021, following a decision by the Council of the Phonographic Academy, he received the Golden Fryderyk for outstanding artistic achievements.