Gustav Mahler’s explosive Eighth Symphony is a cosmic swirl of
orchestral power, sublime melody and the spiritual majesty of the human
voice, and is widely considered the greatest he composed.
It’s an epic so gigantic it is rarely staged on the scale he
intended, with eight soloists, massed choirs and the combined might of
130 players under a single conductor. Instead the masterwork is often
downsized, leaving the complete wonder of the original unheard for years
at a time.
In 2020, for one unforgettable night in Melbourne, that will change.
The MSO and Conductor Laureate Sir Andrew Davis present Mahler’s Symphony of a Thousand, for the first Australian performance of its kind – with 1000 performers – in a decade.
This monumental symphony is a once-in-a-generation experience for
concertgoers, bringing together one thousand performers to realise the
colour and intensity of music once described as too beautiful to bear.
The Orchestra nearly doubles in size with additional musicians from
around the world, sharing the stage with a cast of international
soloists, a 200-strong children’s choir and acclaimed choral singers
from across Australia and beyond.
Mahler’s Eighth was the first symphony to score the voice
throughout: from the famous, full blast of the opening movement to the
climactic finale of the second. It breaks free from convention and
carries the audience, spinning, into a new kind of space.
to imagine the whole universe beginning to ring and resound. These are
no longer human voices, but planets and suns revolving.”
– Gustav Mahler
Mahler’s 110 year-old symphony is an uplifting testament to love and
the power of our shared humanity. A work of imaginative genius, it
expresses our human longing to touch the divine.
Mahler’s Eighth will bring to a sensational close the MSO’s Mahler
cycle under Sir Andrew Davis – a legacy event unmissable for orchestra
If you see only one classical concert in Australia in 2020, make it
this. Symphonic music doesn’t get bigger, soar closer to the heavens, or
offer sweeter redemption, than this.