The big piece of the evening was Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 7, a work in which a hundred instrumentalists take you on a musical journey over emotional landscapes that range from extreme melancholy to ecstatically joyous. There are passages where you think that Conductor Carlos Kalmar and the orchestra have steered you into a narrow back alley in Vienna with a couple of drunks and then you're suddenly in the bright sunshine of an open meadow and birds are chirping. This doesn't leave you with a headache, but with a revelation that you can climb out of the depths.
Overall, the performance I heard on Sunday evening was not flawless but was inspired and beautiful. The brass sections of the orchestra deserve special kudos, and the audience responded to the triumphant final chords with an enthusiastic standing ovation.