This month, Music Director Vasily Petrenko and the Royal Philharmonic performed the first Mahler concert in their Journeys of Discovery season at the Royal Albert Hall, with Symphony No.8 “Symphony of a Thousand”. The 23 October concert was met with rapturous applause  and hailed as “a glorious experience that nobody is going to forget in a hurry” (Fiona Mountford, The i)

In his 5 star review in The Telegraph, Ivan Hewett writes, “Just keeping so many musicians co-ordinated is a superhuman task, which conductor Vasily Petrenko managed superbly well. But more than that, he balanced these huge forces so we could hear the fine detail under all the tumult.”

The Guardian’s Andrew Clements notes that, “Petrenko, however, didn’t overdo the grandeur; there was no sense of wallowing in the sheer weight of sound for its own sake. Tempi were always brisk, textures agile and crisp (almost spikily expressionist in some episodes of the first part), every detail carefully defined.”

“For anyone mourning the loss of large-scale, mind-shattering events in the past two years, this was redemption” praises Fiona Maddocks in The Observer. Bachtrack’s David Truslove agrees, writing, “Mahler’s glorious opening statement generated intense drama, though not without moments of relief from its surging crescendos where Hostem repellas was especially visceral in its impact. Indeed, contrasts between massive choral and orchestral textures and almost chamber-like delicacy were impressively realised”

All photos (c) Andy Paradise