Journeys of Discovery: Redemption
Mahler Symphony No.8, ‘Symphony of a Thousand’
Vasily Petrenko Conductor
Bournemouth Symphony Chorus
City of London Choir
Tiffin Boys' Choir
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.
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra gratefully acknowledges the generous support of Mrs Aline Foriel-Destezet.
The safety of our audiences is of paramount importance. Government guidelines and safety measures are followed at all the venues in which the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra performs to ensure that you are able to enjoy the performance in a safe, comfortable environment. Find out more about venue guidance and safety measures below.
Tickets from £10.50.
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