The Symphony No. 8 in E-flat major by Gustav Mahler is one of the
largest choral works in the classical concert repertory. Mahler himself
conducted its first performance, in Munich on 12 September 1910. Apart
from the unusual scale of the work, its architecture is unconventional;
instead of the standard four-movement symphonic framework, the piece is
in two long sections or parts. The first is based on the Latin text of
a ninth-century Christian hymn for Pentecost, Veni creator spiritus
("Come, Creator Spirit"); Part II is a setting of the words from the
closing scene of Goethe's Faust. The two parts are related by the
shared idea, expressed musically, of redemption through the power of
love. Renouncing the pessimism that had marked much of his earlier
music, Mahler offered the Eighth as an expression of confidence in the
eternal human spirit. After a period during which performances were
rare, from the mid-20th century onwards the symphony has been heard
regularly in concert halls all over the world, and has been recorded
many times. Modern critics have expressed divided opinions on the work;
some find its optimism unconvincing and consider it inferior to
Mahler's other symphonies, while others compare it to Beethoven's Ninth
Symphony as a defining human statement for its century.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
While sailing aboard the Halve Maen, English explorer Henry Hudson
began his exploration of the Hudson River, laying the foundation for
Dutch colonization of present-day New York.
Great Turkish War: Polish troops led by John III Sobieski joined
forces with a Habsburg army to defeat the Ottoman Empire at the Battle
Switzerland became a federal state with the adoption of a new
Four teenagers discovered the Lascaux caves near Montignac, in the
Dordogne département of France, containing cave paintings that are
estimated to be 16,000 years old.
Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia, considered to be the religious
symbol for God incarnate among the Rastafari movement, was deposed in a
coup d'état by the Derg, a military junta.
Aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour, the 50th mission of the Space Shuttle
program, American Mae Carol Jemison became the first Black woman in
Wiktionary's word of the day:
tight as a tick (adj):
1. Drunk, inebriated.
2. Fully inflated; swollen near to bursting.
3. Unwilling to spend
Wikiquote quote of the day:
You climb to reach the summit, but once there, discover that all roads
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