Kent Tritle Conducts a Reprised Concert of The Symphony of a Thousand
GUSTAV MAHLER, SYMPHONY NO. 8
at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine
Concert to Feature the World Premiere of a New Organ Transcription by David Briggs
Thursday, April 7, 2016
Cathedral of St. John the Divine
1047 Amsterdam Avenue (at 112th Street)
The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, in collaboration with the Manhattan School of Music and Oratorio Society of New York, presents the world premiere of a transcription for organ, vocal soloists, and choruses, of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, on Thursday, April 7th, at 7:30 p.m. at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Avenue (at 112th Street), Manhattan. This event follows the two performances of the symphony in its original orchestration at the Cathedral on February 24th and 25th.
Kent Tritle, Director of Cathedral Music, will lead the work, which, since its 1910 premiere with 1,030 musicians, has been referred to as “The Symphony of a Thousand.” In a dramatic instrumental shift, this new transcription by virtuoso David Briggs has the organ take the place of a full orchestra. “Without doubt, Mahler included some of the most beautiful music he had ever written. For me, it represents his never-ending quest for faith and completeness. The final apotheosis is completely overwhelming—even more so on the organ than the orchestra,” says Briggs, who will himself play the Cathedral’s magnificent Great Organ.
The collaborative performance also features the Manhattan School of Music Symphonic Chorus; Oratorio Society of New York; The Cathedral Choristers of St. John the Divine; the Manhattan School of Music Women’s Chorus; and eight soloists: Rachel Rosales, soprano; Bryn Holdsworth, soprano; Jana McIntyre, soprano; Noragh Devlin, mezzo-soprano; Sara Murphy, mezzo-soprano; John Tiranno, tenor; Tim Murray, baritone; and Adam Lau, bass.
Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, weaving together the text of a medieval hymn and the closing scene of Goethe’s Faust, draws together essential redemptive themes of Western culture in one of the most ambitious and thrilling of such works, and was described by the composer as his most groundbreaking symphony and the grandest thing he had ever done. From the moment Tritle first visited the Cathedral with the idea of serving there, he dreamed of conducting musical creations on the grand scale befitting the world’s largest neo-Gothic space.
Tickets for this performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 start at $25. To purchase tickets for the performance, visit this page. For more information on future performances throughout the 2015–2016 season, please visit the Great Music in a Great Space homepage.