Magazine article Musical Opinion

Mahler 8 at the Royal Albert Hall

Magazine article Musical Opinion

Mahler 8 at the Royal Albert Hall

Article excerpt

Marking the 60th Anniversary of the founding of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra by Sir Thomas Beecham in 1946, almost to the day, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra mounted a performance of Mahler's gigantic Eighth Symphony at the Royal Albert Hall under Daniele Gatti. Often termed the Symphony of a Thousand, because over 1,000 musicians participated in the work's Premiere under Mahler in 1910, the performance on 15 September was given by around 700 musicians, one of the largest bodies brought together for this work in London in living memory.

This colossal score makes supreme demands on the conductor and it must be said at once that Daniele Gatti rose splendidly to the occasion. Clearly, his reading was the result of deep study of and love for this work, and it was both moving and uplifting to hear an account so suffused with understanding of the music. In this he was ably served by the RPO at their best and by an admirable clutch of soloists: Janice Watson, Christine Teare, Gillian Keith, Catherine Wyn-Rogers, Susan Parry, Kirn Begley, Phillip JoIl and Matthew Best. …

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