Symphony of a Thousand  

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Symphony No. 8
Composed by Gustav Mahler, 1906. Conducted by Antoni Wit, 2006.

You should know
I listened to part of this symphony in a class a few years ago and fell in love with it. I received the CD set for Christmas, and finally got around to listening to it.

Oh, I wish I understood German, or that my Latin wasn't so bad. The music is absolutely stunning, but since I cannot understand the words, I had a hard time devoting my full attention to certain tracks. Also, I was listening on my laptop, which has good but not amazing speakers.

The Symphony is broken down, one movement per CD. The first part is the Veni Creator Spiritus, a Catholic hymn; the second is based on the final part of Goethe's Faust. I suppose I should be able to tell that purely from the music, as one does when one attends symphonies or operas (or inserts CDs of such into one’s laptop), but I couldn’t, quite. That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it a lot, though.

Listen if…
…You like classical music but haven’t heard this yet, or you like really, really good background music. Also, if you speak German and want to help me out.

The rest of the Internet
Mahler's Wikipedia page.
The Symphony Wikipedia page.
Through this page you can read the original and translated lyrics.
A long breakdown of the symphony and various recordings.
Nathan's Daily Journal posts video of a performance.

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