Because of music's inherent abstractness, it is the most fundamentally subversive of the arts. It says something very specific, eliciting overpowering responses, and yet it has the luxury of being able to claim that it has said nothing at all.
A few days later I noticed that the music had been turned up in volume, but this time it was playing a Mozart Flute Concerto. As I put on my running shorts, I thought that donning a pair of 18th-century breeches and a ruffled shirt would be more appropriate.
The First Symphony is probably one of the most often performed works of Mahler since it doesn't take two hours or involve 1000 musicians. But Mariss Jansons and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. There are two words I always say about them: "Oh wow."
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.
The conductor of the L.A. Philharmonic, Gustavo Dudamel, combined our local symphonic group with the Simón Boliver Orchestra of Venezuela in playing Mahler's Eighth Symphony, called 'Symphony of a Thousand."
In a strange twist of timing, I found myself reading Ron Chernow's new biography of George Washington at the same time that I just happened to be reading Jan Swafford's Charles Ives: A Life with Music.