»The greatest thing«
Mahler’s Eighth was once performed at a bittersweet Staatskapelle concert on 30 June 1932 when, nine months before his expulsion, Fritz Busch conducted the opus ultimum of the great late-Romantic composer. Mahler euphorically described the combination of the Pentecost hymn »Veni, creator spiritus« with the »Faust II« finale: »It’s the greatest thing I’ve done. Think of it as the universe beginning to ring out and resound.« Visitors to the premiere in Munich on 12 September 1910, which had no fewer than 1,030 performers, unanimously reported on the overwhelming impact of the »Symphony of a Thousand« (as the publishers soon called the work) on the listener. This has not changed to the present day.
Gustav Mahler Symphonie Nr. 8
More info: staatskapelle-dresden.de