Ahead of BPO 75th celebrations, Rookie Reviewer Nikolaj Schubert gives us a preview of the concert.
How can one sum up Gustav Mahler’s 8th Symphony in just a few sentences? Its significance extends far beyond the simple nature of the extraordinary forces involved – the last work premiered in the composer’s lifetime, this is Gustav Mahler’s ultimate expression of hope for humanity, a magnum opus feverishly completed in the summer of 1906.
Split into two parts, the symphony features a chorus and array of soloists throughout, setting the 9th century hymn Veni creator spiritus and the closing lines of Goethe’s Faust to music in a spectacular display of grandeur reminiscent of Beethoven’s rousing finale to his 9th Symphony.
It seems fitting then, that the Birmingham Philharmonic Orchestra, itself one of the jewels in Birmingham’s artistic crown, should join forces with the massed numbers of the City of Birmingham Choir, University of Birmingham Chorus, Boys and Girls Choirs of St. Peter’s Collegiate Church and the Choir of Coppice Performing Arts School to celebrate their 75th anniversary in the most majestic way possible.
Led by the BPO’s musical director, Michael Lloyd, and featuring a stellar array of vocal soloists from the world of opera, this concert looks set to be one of the year’s musical highlights: a testament to the continuing achievements of the BPO and the enduring excellence of music making in the West Midlands.
Nikolaj Schubert is an undergraduate Music student at the University of Birmingham. Currently completing his final year, he will major in composition while continuing to play trumpet in both jazz and classical ensembles.