McPhee brings together Lexington, Nashua symphonies for Mahler 8

Posted on: November 19, 2010

In Friday’s (11/19) Boston Globe, David Weininger writes, “Jonathan McPhee is on the verge of seeing come to fruition a project he never thought he’d undertake. This weekend he will conduct two performances of Mahler’s gigantic Eighth Symphony—a rarity even in our Mahler-saturated times. Even more remarkable, McPhee has brought together for the concerts two orchestras he directs—the Lexington Symphony and Nashua Symphony Orchestra—and the performances will take place not in Boston but in the two groups’ hometowns. ‘It is pretty amazing,’ McPhee admits. ‘It’s not a piece I thought I would ever in my lifetime have an opportunity to do.’ The challenges of the Eighth become apparent just by reviewing the forces required: a huge orchestra, two full-size choruses, a children’s chorus, and eight vocal soloists. … This undertaking has been as much a matter of shrewd strategic thinking as of artistic ambition.” In the article, McPhee is quoted as saying, “It took, really, two years of planning to bring both the boards on board. And then I started speaking to small groups of people in both places and saying, ‘This is a coming-of-age piece. It’s something that’s only done in large cities. Not only is it the Mount Everest of musical pieces, but it can galvanize a population.’ ”

Posted November 19, 2010