Virginia Arts Festival 2012
Gustav Mahler - Symphony No. 8 (“Symphony of a Thousand”)
JoAnn Falletta, conductor
Virginia Symphony Orchestra
Virginia Symphony Orchestra Chorus (Robert Shoup)
Richmond Symphony Orchestra Chorus (Erin Freeman)
Old Dominion University Concert Choir (Nancy Klein)
Christopher Newport University Chamber Choir (Lauren Fowler-Calisto)
Virginia Children’s Chorus (Carol Thomas Downing)
Listen to this. You will be glad you did.
I recommend earbuds.
“A massive, inelegant, bombastic headache.”
That’s how I just described Mahler 8 to someone.
I like it.
From the Wikipedia page on Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 - the “Symphony of a Thousand”:
The woodwind section for the Eighth includes two piccolos (one doubling 5th flute), four flutes, four oboes, a cor anglais, three B-flat clarinets, at least two E-flat clarinets, a B-flat bass clarinet, four bassoons, and a contrabassoon. The brass section requires eight horns, four trumpets, four trombones, tuba, and a “separately placed” ensemble of four trumpets (the first of which may be doubled) and three trombones. The percussion forces consist of two sets of timpani, cymbals, bass drum, tamtam, triangle, and low-pitched bells. Mahler also added a glockenspiel during the final rehearsals. Other instruments include an organ, a harmonium, a piano (also added during the rehearsals), two harps (although AT LEAST FOUR are preferred), a celesta, and at least one mandolin (but preferably several). Mahler recommended that in very large halls, the first player in each of the woodwind sections should be doubled and that numbers in the strings should also be augmented.
The choral forces consist of two SATB [soprano, alto, tenor, bass] choirs, a children’s choir, and eight soloists: three soprano, two alto, tenor, baritone, and bass.
So, all told:
- woodwinds - at least 22 players
- brass - at least 24 players
- strings - I can’t find the specifications but I’m going to guess it’s about 14-14-12-12-10 - so… 62 players
- other instruments - probably around 14 players
- adult choir - in our performance we’ll have between 350 and 400 singers - let’s say 375
- children’s choir - not sure… around 100 maybe?
- plus 8 soloists
- plus the conductor
That is 606 individual musicians onstage. And that might even be a conservative estimate.
This is happening in May.
CDs I have bought/received in the mail in the past couple days. Pretty exciting.
I already asked about Mahler 8 recordings. What about the Mozart Coronation Mass?
Listening to the Academy of Ancient Music with Christopher Hogwood right now.
Do any of my musician (or music-loving) followers have any suggestions for a good Mahler 8 recording to spend my money on?
Thinking about this one by the LPO.