From music critic Lindsay Koob:

Along with a Gaillard-full of entranced listeners, I got my psyche thoroughly reamed out by Mahler’s magnificent Fifth last night. Right from the opening trumpet-call, we were all swept up into one of the most savage, unsettling, but finally triumphant musical canvases ever penned. Mahler exposed every nook and cranny of his soul here — it’s a musical mirror (and mirrors don’t lie) that we all see ourselves reflected in. We cringe and cower at his primal fears — because they’re also ours. But then we revel with him in the joys and triumphs of life — as in the searing, boundless love of the ‘Adagietto’ — and we emerge reassured and ennobled. Can there be a greater way to achieve worldly immortality than to write music like this?

And will we ever hear this monumental masterpiece better performed? I think not, at least for those of us who don’t get to frequent concert halls in places like New York or Vienna. Villaume and his superb “orchestra of virtuosos” gave us one of the bumpiest, but most exalted musical rides of our lives last night – and I, for one, will not soon forget it. —LK

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