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For its final concert of the 2021–22 season and Osmo Vänskä’s last as artistic director, the Minnesota Orchestra chose to present Mahler’s mammoth Eighth Symphony, which calls for one of the largest complement of performers in the history of music, a symbol of the communitarian spirit of collective cultural, social and religious-philosophical endeavour in what has been referred to as a ‘Mass for the Masses’. Mahler’s Eighth Symphony, unlike his others, reveals no contrary despairing voice. It is instead a monumentally affirmative expression of human spiritual achievement achieved through the union of two seemingly incompatible texts: the Latin hymn Veni Creator Spiritus and the conclusion of the second part of Goethe’s Faust.
Its première in Munich in September 1910 gave rise to the greatest triumph of Mahler’s career, and a rollcall of European royalty and the artistic élite attended the final public rehearsal and the performances.
The Minnesota Orchestra and Osmo Vänskä are here joined by Carolyn Sampson, Jacquelyn Wagner, Sasha Cooke, Jess Dandy, Barry Banks, Julian Orlishausen, Christian Immler as well as the Minnesota Chorale, the National Lutheran Choir, the Minnesota Boychoir and the Angelica Cantanti Youth Choir.
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