The form of this work is not so much based on the classical symphony, but is closer to a song cycle structure which has now grown toinclude 13 movements for choir and orchestra. The Romantic characteristics and form of the 8th Symphony are both reminiscent of Gustav Mahlers choral symphonic works and his Lied von der Erde. Krzysztof Penderecki here extends and augments his expressive musical material, for example through cluster techniques and glissandi, possibilities which he has been systematically exploring since the 1950s. He has compiled the texts from poetry by Eichendorff, Rilke, Brecht, Kraus, Hesse, Goethe, Bethge and von Arnim on the theme of forests and trees, which has long been close to his heart as demonstrated by his private arboretum near Luslavice ('my personal Ithaca') containing over 1500 species of trees.
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