Symphony of Thousands

Bradford Catholic Girls Choir were one of several choirs who took place in the final concert of the Leeds International Orchestral Season 2015/16.

For the final concert of Leeds International Orchestral Season 2015/16, presents one of the largest classical choral works ever written, Mahler’s Symphony No 8, for the first time on the Leeds Town Hall stage in over 20 years.

Subtitled Symphony of a Thousand due to the vast numbers of performers required, this evening’s performance will feature the joint forces of three different choirs along with the Orchestra of Opera North and eight soloists. The work is in two parts, with the first section based on Latin text from the hymn Veni creator spiritus. This hymn greatly inspired Mahler, who said “I saw the whole piece immediately before my eyes, and only needed to write it down as though it were being dictated to me.” The second part of the work uses words from the final part of Goethe’s Faust, and continues with the theme of love conquering all. Mahler was undeniably proud of his work, describing it as his “gift to the nation ... a great joy-bringer.”