Any performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 is always a special event. When it takes place as part of the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, it becomes extra special. This epic work is often called “Symphony of a Thousand”, although this was a title that Mahler never gave to it. On this occasion the London Symphony Chorus is joined by members of the BBC Symphony Chorus and the BBC National Chorus of Wales, so the choir stalls will certainly be at capacity.
The children’s choruses will be provided by Southend Boys’ and Girls’ Choirs with a remarkable line-up of international soloists: Tamara Wilson, Camilla Hylund, Joelle Harvey (sopranos), Christine Rice (mezzo-soprano), Claudia Huckle (contralto), Simon O’Neill (tenor), Quinn Kelsey (baritone) and Morris Robinson (bass). Everyone will be under the baton of Thomas Sondergard, Principal Conductor of the BBC National Chorus of Wales.
Mahler had been convinced from the start of the work’s significance, a piece in which he expresses a confidence in the eternal human spirit. As he himself said, “it is the best thing I have ever done.”