Gustavo Dudamel’s ‘Mahler – Symphony No. 8’ Receives Two Grammy Nominations

Gustavo Dudamel Mahler Symphony No 8 album coverGustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s revelatory Deutsche Grammophon recording of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 has received two nominations for the 2022 Grammy Awards – Best Choral Performance and Best Engineered Album, Classical. The Grammy, which celebrates both artistic and technical achievement, is the recording industry’s most prestigious award.

“We’re honoured that the Recording Academy continues to recognise our work”

“We’re honoured that the Recording Academy continues to recognise our work,” said Dr Clemens Trautmann, President Deutsche Grammophon. “Over the past year our artists have released some extraordinary recordings, from monuments of the repertoire such as Mahler’s ‘Symphony of a Thousand’ to the recently rediscovered symphonies of Florence Price. They have connected with new audiences around the world and demonstrated the life-enhancing spirit of classical music in all its forms. I’m delighted that their achievements are reflected in the nominations for the 2022 GRAMMY Awards.”

Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Mahler Project, that presented the composer’s nine symphonies within a month in 2012, attracted global attention and rave reviews. Their recording of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, recorded live at Walt Disney Concert Hall, documents a landmark performance that brought the LA Philharmonic’s centennial season to a triumphant conclusion in 2019. The Los Angeles Times noted, “The LA Phil’s brilliance here was in [the] detailing. Dudamel has gone beyond mere beauty in his quest for Mahlerian meaning. But he has no qualms with robustness, and the combined choruses were capable of both grandeur and drama at the same time.”

Mahler’s extraordinary Symphony No. 8 spans a universe of emotions, channeled through everything from passages of intimate reflection to overwhelming outbursts of choral and orchestral sound. Although known since the time of its first performance in 1910 as the ‘Symphony of a Thousand’, because of the great number of performers required, Gustavo Dudamel’s vision of the work was realised by a total of 346 performers. The Los Angeles Philharmonic was joined by the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Pacific Chorale, Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, National Children’s Chorus and soloists Tamara Wilson, Leah Crocetto, Erin Morley, Mihoko Fujimura, Tamara Mumford, Simon O’Neill, Ryan McKinny and Morris Robinson.

Mahler challenged symphonic convention in this work

Mahler challenged symphonic convention in this work, symbolizing the power of divine creation and mankind’s redemption through love, by writing parts for eight solo singers, two monumental mixed adult choruses and children’s choir, and dividing the piece into two movements. He based the first movement on the ninth-century Latin hymn Veni Creator Spiritus, and set words from the closing scene of Goethe’s verse tragedy Faust as an extended second part.

Mahler said the finished score was, “something in comparison with which all the rest of my works are no more than introductions”.

The 64th GRAMMY Awards ceremony takes place at the Crypto.com Arena (formerly the Staples Center) in Los Angeles on 31 January 2022 and will be broadcast on the CBS Television Network and streamed live and on demand on Paramount+ from 8–11:30 p.m. ET / 5–8:30 p.m. PT.

Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s album Gustav Mahler – Symphony No. 8 can be bought here.

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