Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s revelatory interpretation of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, recorded live at Walt Disney Concert Hall (30/31 May & 2 June 2019) will be released on 8 June 2021. Their new album documents a landmark performance that brought the LA Philharmonic’s centennial season to a triumphant conclusion in 2019. Mahler’s extraordinary ‘Symphony of a Thousand’ spans a universe of emotions, channeled through everything from passages of intimate reflection to overwhelming outbursts of choral and orchestral sound.
Following Apple Music’s announcement regarding introducing Spatial Audio with support for Dolby Atmos, listeners will be able to enjoy Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s new album Gustav Mahler – Symphony No. 8, and their entire Deutsche Grammophon catalogue, via this revolutionary form of audio experience. Their recordings include the Grammy-winning albums of 2020 and 2021 Andrew Norman: Sustain and Charles Ives – Complete Symphonies, landmark releases of the past decade such as Celebrating John Williams, Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, Stravinsky’s The Firebird and Debussy’s La Mer, major symphonic pieces by Bartók, Berlioz and Brahms, and seminal works by John Adams.
“Share with me this monumental live performance”
“There are no words to describe the immersive, overpowering experience of being a conductor leading a performance of Mahler’s towering ‘Symphony of a Thousand’,” noted Gustavo Dudamel. “But now, technology is advancing to bring that experience closer to our ears, our minds, and our souls. Share with me this monumental live performance with my beloved Los Angeles Philharmonic, remastered in Dolby Atmos audio technology for the first time on Apple Music alongside my collection of Deutsche Grammophon recordings with the LA Phil, in rich, remarkable 3D sound.”
“A once-in-a-lifetime experience”
Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Mahler Project, that presented the composer’s nine symphonies within a month in 2012, attracted global attention and rave reviews and they have since programmed Mahler’s music at home and on tour. Their captivating performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 in May 2019 was described by Stage and Cinema as “a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
Although known since the time of its first performance in 1910 as the ‘Symphony of a Thousand,’ because of the great number of performers required, Gustavo Dudamel’s vision of the work was realised by a total of 346 performers. The Los Angeles Philharmonic was joined by the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Pacific Chorale, Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, National Children’s Chorus and soloists Tamara Wilson, Leah Crocetto, Erin Morley, Mihoko Fujimura, Tamara Mumford, Simon O’Neill, Ryan McKinny and Morris Robinson.
Mahler challenged symphonic convention in this work
Mahler challenged symphonic convention in this work, symbolizing the power of divine creation and mankind’s redemption through love, by writing parts for eight solo singers, two monumental mixed adult choruses and children’s choir, and dividing the piece into two movements. He based the first movement on the ninth-century Latin hymn Veni Creator Spiritus, and set words from the closing scene of Goethe’s verse tragedy Faust as an extended second part.
The symphony entered Mahler’s mind almost fully formed during the summer of 1906. “I saw the whole piece immediately before my eyes,” he told his biographer, “and only needed to write it down, as though it were being dictated to me.” Mahler said the finished score was, “something in comparison with which all the rest of my works are no more than introductions”.
Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s new album Gustav Mahler – Symphony No. 8 will be released on 8 June 2021.
Listen to the best of Gustavo Dudamel on Spotify.