October 4, 2017
Music Director Thierry Fischer Leads the Utah Symphony and Mormon Tabernacle Choir in Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, Released by Reference Recordings on November 17

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (October 4, 2017) — Music Director Thierry Fischer and the Utah Symphony’s recording of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, “Symphony of a Thousand,” with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and choristers of The Madeleine Choir School is released on Friday, November 17 on Reference Recordings. Pre-orders are currently available through Amazon.

This two-disc, hybrid SACD release continues a Mahler tradition that began under former Music Director Maurice Abravanel, who led the Utah Symphony in recording the first complete Mahler symphony cycle by an American orchestra (1963-74, Vanguard Classics), including the first commercial recording of Symphony No. 8, which launched the cycle. From 2014 to 2016, in celebration of the orchestra’s 75th anniversary, Mr. Fischer renewed this Utah Symphony tradition with a complete cycle of Mahler’s symphonies in concert, resulting in live recordings of Symphony No. 1 (2015) and now Symphony No. 8, both released by Reference Recordings. Symphony No. 8 was recorded on February 19 and 20, 2016 at the Salt Lake Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, Utah. For more information about the orchestra’s Mahler cycle and history, click here.

In addition to building upon the Utah Symphony’s Mahler legacy, this recording also reflects the orchestra’s commitment to collaboration within the Utah arts community, of particular emphasis during the 75th anniversary season. The recorded concerts were sponsored by the O.C. Tanner Gift of Music, founded over 30 years ago by Obert C. Tanner and Gordon B. Hinckley to share performances of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Utah Symphony as a gift to the community. In addition to collaborating with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and The Madeleine Choir School—both based in Salt Lake City—Mr. Fischer and the Utah Symphony were also joined by sopranos Orla Boylan, Celena Shafer, and Amy Owens; mezzo-sopranos Charlotte Hellekant and Tamara Mumford; tenor Barry Banks; baritone Markus Werba; and bass Jordan Bisch.

Mr. Fischer says:

“Not many orchestras are fortunate enough to record Mahler 8... ever. But thanks to Maurice Abravanel and the tradition he started 50 years ago, it has happened here in Utah twice! We offer our thanks to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the choristers from The Madeleine Choir School, and the eight incredible soloists who went on this new journey with us. The intense commitment of everyone involved was apparent from the first rehearsal to the final performance, and we were all deeply moved by the audience's reaction to Mahler's music. It is so wonderful to have this memory preserved now for all time.”

In addition to being released in hybrid SACD format (containing 5.1-surround and stereo SACD and CD stereo audio), this recording will be released as a digital download in 192 kHz high-resolution stereo, 44.1 kHz CD-quality stereo, stereo and multi-channel DSD, and conventional MP3 formats. The recording will be available through the Utah Symphony’s online store, Reference Recordings web site, and other online retailers, as well as the orchestra’s gift shop at Abravanel Hall.

About the Utah Symphony

Founded in 1940, the Utah Symphony performs more than 175 concerts each season and offers all Utahns access to world-class live performances of the world’s greatest music in the state’s top venues. Since being named the orchestra’s seventh Music Director in 2009, Thierry Fischer has attracted leading musicians and top soloists, refreshed programming, drawn increased audiences, and galvanized community support. In addition to numerous regional and domestic tours, including the Mighty 5® Tour of Utah’s national parks and this season’s Great American Road Trip, which also included Utah state parks and national monuments, the Utah Symphony has embarked on seven international tours—from Europe to Central and South America—and performed at Carnegie Hall in 2016 coinciding with the orchestra’s 75th anniversary celebrations.

The Utah Symphony has released more than 100 recordings, and for Reference Recordings, in addition to Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, the orchestra has also recently released Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 (2015) and Dawn to Dust (2016), which features three Utah Symphony-commissioned works by Nico Muhly, Andrew Norman, and Augusta Read Thomas. The orchestra’s discography with former Music Director Maurice Abravanel includes not only the complete Mahler symphonies, but also premiere recordings of works by Honegger, Milhaud, Rorem, Satie, Schuman, and Varèse.

Utah Symphony | Utah Opera, the orchestra’s parent organization, reaches 450,000 residents in Utah and the Intermountain region, with educational outreach programs serving more than 155,000 students annually. In addition to performances in its home in Salt Lake City, Abravanel Hall, and concerts throughout the state of Utah, the Utah Symphony participates in Utah Opera’s four annual productions at the Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre and present the six-week Deer Valley® Music Festival each summer in Park City, Utah.

For more information about the orchestra, visit utahsymphony.org.

Season Sponsor for Utah Symphony | Utah Opera is the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation.

About Thierry Fischer

Now in his ninth season as Music Director of the Utah Symphony, Thierry Fischer has revitalized the orchestra with creative programming, critically acclaimed performances, and new recordings. Highlights of his tenure include a multi-season Haydn symphony cycle; Mahler, Beethoven, and Nielsen cycles; and a tour of Utah’s five national parks. Appointed Principal Guest of the Seoul Philharmonic in January 2017, Mr. Fischer has also guest-conducted the Atlanta, BBC, Boston, Cincinnati, and Detroit symphony orchestras, Czech Philharmonic, Orchestra of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, London Philharmonic Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Oslo and Rotterdam Philharmonics, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra, and the Munich Chamber Orchestra, among others. He made his conducting debut in his 30s leading the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, which he recently led on a European tour. He has served as principal conductor and artistic advisor of the Ulster Orchestra (2001–06), chief conductor of the Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra (2008–11), and principal conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales (2006–12).

About the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

A month after the first pioneers had arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847, a church conference was held where a small group provided the music. A standing choir was organized two years later, known as the Salt Lake Tabernacle Choir. In 1893, the Choir took its first tour outside of Utah to the Chicago Columbian Exposition. Since then, the Choir has traveled extensively from Israel and Russia to Japan and Australia. The Choir sung at the inaugurations of six U.S. presidents and at North America’s most prestigious outdoor music festivals. In 2015, the Choir performed at New York’s Carnegie Hall and will travel to concert halls throughout Europe during the summer of 2016. Nearly 87 years ago, a new radio program began when Salt Lake City’s only microphone was carried across the street to the Tabernacle and suspended above the singers so high the announcer had to stand on a ladder to reach it. Music and the Spoken Word has been heard on network radio ever since. Carried on 2,000 radio, television, Internet, and cable networks, the broadcast has been inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame and the National Radio Hall of Fame. Nearly 200 recordings have showcased the Choir since 1910, earning a Grammy Award in 1959, three more Grammy nominations, five gold and two platinum records. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has been widely recognized with honors including three Emmys, a Freedoms Foundation Award, Peabody Awards, and the National Medal of Arts, the nation’s highest artistic recognition, awarded to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir by President George W. Bush in 2003. For more information, visit mormontabernaclechoir.org.

About The Madeleine Choir School

Located in downtown Salt Lake City, The Madeleine Choir School is a mission of The Cathedral of the Madeleine, serving young people in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade Eight. Modeled after the historic cathedral schools in Europe, the Choir School offers a rigorous academic program in the humanities, mathematics and sciences, and the arts, as well as strong character formation. It provides every student an exceptional music education, including two years of violin study, music theory and history and intensive vocal training. The choristers assist with the worship life of the Cathedral and participate in The Choir of the Cathedral of the Madeleine’s Annual Concert Series, performing over 9,000 hours of service annually. In addition, the choristers perform regularly with local arts organizations, including the Utah Symphony | Utah Opera, Ballet West, Utah Chamber Artists, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Helena Symphony, and the San Francisco Opera. They have five CD recordings available. Performance tours are an integral part of every student’s experience at the Choir School. Past tours have encompassed performances in Rome, Florence, Madrid, Sevilla, Prague, Berlin, Leipzig, Munich, and Vienna – including St. Peter’s Basilica, and Notre Dame de Paris. For more information, visit utmcs.org.

About Reference Recordings

Reference Recordings, founded in 1976, is based in San Francisco, with multiple GRAMMY® awards and a catalog that includes numerous American and international orchestras, ensembles and choruses. FRESH! is part of Reference Recordings’ mission to encourage unique and fine artists, and give them a strong platform for promotion and sales nationally and internationally. Reference Recordings are distributed in North America by Naxos USA, and internationally through a network of independent distributors listed at referencerecordings.com.

This recording is made possible by the Utah Symphony’s 75th Anniversary Signature Sponsor, the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation; 75th Anniversary Mahler Cycle Sponsors Ken and Carolyn Gardner; Recording Sponsor Jack Wheatley.

# # #

MAHLER: SYMPHONY NO. 8

Utah Symphony
Thierry Fischer, Music Director

Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Mack Wilberg, Music Director

Choristers of The Madeleine Choir School

Orla Boylan, soprano
Celena Shafer, soprano
Amy Owens, soprano
Charlotte Hellekant, mezzo-soprano
Tamara Mumford, mezzo-soprano
Barry Banks, tenor
Markus Werba, baritone
Jordan Bisch, bass

Reference Recordings: FR-725 SACD (two discs)

Gustav Mahler (1860–1911)
Symphony No. 8 in E-flat major

Part 1

  1. Veni, creator spiritus: 6:54
  2. Orchestra Interlude. Infirma nostri corporis: 4:06
  3. Accende lumen sensibus: 4:49
  4. Reprise: Veni, creator spiritus: 3:45
  5. Gloria Patri Domino: 2:29

Total time: 22:07

Part 2

  1. Poco Adagio: 9:22
  2. Waldung, sie schwankt heran: 5:12
  3. Ewiger Wonnebrand: 6:13
  4. Gerettet ist das edle Glied vom Bösen: 5:34
  5. Hier ist die Aussicht frei: 5:01
  6. Äußerst lagsam. Adagissimo - Dir, der Unberührbaren: 8:52
  7. Neige, neige, du Ohnegleiche: 4:04
  8. Komm! komm! hebe dich zu höhern Sphären!: 7:30
  9. Alles Vergängliche ist nur ein Gleichnis: 5:40

Total time: 57:34

# # #

For press copies, please contact:
Shuman Associates
shumanpr@shumanassociates.net | (212) 315-1300

Utah Symphony press contact:
Renée Huang | Public Relations Director
rhuang@usuo.org | (801) 869-9027

Reference Recordings press contact:
Janice Mancuso | Media Relations
ReferenceRecordings@gmail.com | (650) 355-1845

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