Gustav Mahler rarely did things by half measures. The Austrian composer never used a small orchestra if a large one was available, never bought into the musical idea that less could be more, and never bothered with trifling or insignificant themes if there was a grand, sweeping gesture to be made. His notorious love of orchestral and emotional excess is never more present than in his Third Symphony: one of the longest symphonies ever written, it was described by Mahler himself, in typically immodest language, as ‘one great hymn to the glory of every aspect of creation’. It’s an epic, majestic piece that rewrote the orchestral rulebook for the 20th century – and a work that’s best heard live in concert, when the combined forces of its mammoth orchestra and gigantic choir are at their most powerful. It’s no surprise Juanjo Mena has chosen it to open his final season as the BBC Philharmonic’s Chief Conductor.
Juanjo Mena – Conductor
Karen Cargill Mezzo – Soprano
BBC National Chorus of Wales (ladies)
The Boy & Girl Choristers of Gloucester Cathedral