Winter Journey is one of the great feasts of the musical calendar: an austere one, but one almost guaranteed to touch the ineffable as well as the heart. After the last song, "The Hurdy-Gurdy Man," the silence is palpable, the sort of silence that otherwise only a Bach Passion can summon up.
Among the many standout soloists, principal oboist Rita Mitzel masterful with the exploratory, almost jazz lines, that surf the orchestrals. Powerful delicacy and thrust in the strings toward a gallopy finish, but, crucially, not overdone.
Gustav Mahler's "Symphony No. 6," clocking in at over 80 minutes and requiring over 90 musicians, is massive even by Mahlerian standards; frankly, just witnessing the logistics of this performance was worth the price of admission.