For this work Kabeláč selected quotations and formulas of a magical and symbolic meaning: Mene, tekel, upharsin – Amen – Hosanna – Hallelujah. The musical language of the Symphony is modal, growing from one of Kabeláč's extraordinary artificial tone-creative principles. The climax of the 3rd movement even suggest a quotation of the Gregorian „Dies irae“. The musical expression makes use of elements of exclamation, rhythmic shouts, monotonous and exalted invocations. The basic idea of the work is namely an emphatic warning against the danger of a decline of all positive values of humanity (the historical situation at the time of the origin of the work should be recalled). The suggestive pictures of destruction and suffering alternate at first with apathy. Only later does a beam of hope emerge from the destructive storm and the end of the work suggests the grasping of the hope. It is in fact a positive end, though marhed by redeeming suffering.
The 8th Symphony was inspired by French ensemble „Les percusions de Strasbourg“ which presented its premiere with the Czech soloists Jana Jonášová (soprano) and Václav Rabas (organ) in Strasbourg in June 1971.