Vasily Petrenko Conductor Philharmonia Chorus Bournemouth Symphony Chorus City of London Choir Schola Cantorum of The Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School Tiffin Boys' Choir Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Programme Journeys of Discovery: Redemption Mahler Symphony No.8, ‘Symphony of a Thousand’ A rare
Vasily Petrenko Conductor
Bournemouth Symphony Chorus
City of London Choir
Schola Cantorum of The Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School
Tiffin Boys’ Choir
Journeys of Discovery: Redemption
Mahler Symphony No.8, ‘Symphony of a Thousand’
A rare treat for Mahler-lovers and anyone who likes their symphonies on the grandest scale.
‘Can you imagine a symphony that is, from beginning to end, song?’ This was the ambitious vision that struck Mahler ‘like lightening’ and had him composing in a frenzy. Within three months he had sketched his most epic work, echoing religious themes from earlier symphonies while taking them to a whole new level.
The first half is a celebration of the divine spirit. The second half, inspired by Goethe’s Faust, starts with ‘woodlands wavering into view’ and ends with dazzling visions of angels and the life eternal.
From the thundering organ chord and the double choir of the opening to the amassed brass at the end, the symphony delivers its message of redemption with the largest forces imaginable on stage . Initially promoted as the ‘Symphony of a Thousand’ due to the numerous performers, Mahler is both exuberant and restrained. His more subdued, economic writing is every bit as powerful as the big set-pieces.
Neither cantata nor opera, the composer’s lightening-strike vision was for how the worlds of instrument and voice might come together: a ‘True Symphony’, in Mahler’s words.
Sarah Wegener Soprano
Jacquelyn Wagner Soprano
Regula Mühlemann Soprano
Jennifer Johnston Mezzo-soprano
Claudia Huckle Contralto
Vincent Wolfsteiner Tenor
Michael Nagy Baritone
This concert has been rescheduled from Sun 18 Oct 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Royal Albert Hall
Kensington Gore, South Kensington, SW7 2AP