Mahler’s Eighth Symphony doesn’t conform to the traditional four movement symphonic layout. It’s in two parts, the first of which is a version, for orchestra, soloists and full chorus, of the 9th century Latin hymn Veni Creator Spiritus (Come, Creative Spirit); while the second uses the same forces to set the final part of Goethe’s Faust.
The work, as befits its cosmic subject matter, is scored for massive forces…
2 piccolos; 4 flutes
4 oboes; cor anglais
2 E-flat clarinets; 3 clarinets; bass clarinet
4 bassoons; double bassoon
4 trombones & tuba
plus an extra group of 4 trumpets and 3 trombones
cymbals, bass drum, tam-tam, triangle, low-pitched bells, glockenspiel
2 harps (at least)
… hence its title (not, however, given to it by the composer): Symphony of a Thousand
Below (still battling on!) is some general stuff – useful for intervals, key signatures, etc.
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