Symphony No.8 In E-Flat Major – Introduction

Listening Guide


The Work

Date of composition: summer, 1906; orchestrated in 1907; published by Universal Editions, February 1911.
Place of composition: Maiernigg
Premiere: Munich, 12 September 1910, Mahler conducting.

Orchestration: Piccolo (or double as 5th flute), 4 flutes, 4 oboes, English horn; clarinet in E-flat, 3 clarinets in B-flat, bass clarinet in B-flat, 4 bassoons, contrabassoon, 8 horns, 4 trumpets, 4 trombones, bass tuba, 3 timpani, bass drum, cymbals, tamtam, triangle, deep bells, glockenspiel, celesta, piano, harmonium, organ, 2 harps, mandolin, strings. Internal band: 4 trumpets, 3 trombones.

Voices: Soloists: Soprano I (Magna Peccatrix), Soprano II (Una poenitentium), Soprano (Mater Gloriosa), Alto I (Mulier Samaritana), Alto II (Maria Aegyptiaca), Tenor (Doctor Marianus), Baritone (Pater Ecstaticus), Bass (Pater Profundus), Choruses: Boys choir, Mixed Choruses I and II

Part I : Hymnus: Veni, creator spiritus (anonymous but once attributed to Hrabanus Maurus)
Part II: Final scene from Faust by Wolfgang von Goethe.

Magna Peccatrix: Erna Spoorenberg, soprano
Una Poenitentium: Gwyneth Jones, soprano
Mater Gloriosa: Gwyneth Annear, mezzo-soprano
Mulier Samaritana: Anna Reynolds, mezzo-soprano
Maria Aegyptiaca: Norma Procter, mezzo-soprano
Doctor Marianus: John Mitchinson, tenor
Pater Ecstaticus: Vladimir Ruzdjak, baritone
Pater Profundis: Donald McIntyre, bass

Hans Vollenweider, organ
Leeds Festival Chorus
London Symphony Orchestra Chorus (Donald Hunt, chorus master)
Finchley Children’s Music Group (John Andrews, music director)
Highgate School Boys Choir (Edward Chapman, music director)
Orpington Junior Singers (Sheila Mossman, chorus master)
London Symphony Orchestra
Leonard Bernstein, conductor

Sony 88697-45369-2
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