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A Mahler Journey

Dear Ben,
I just came back from your Mahler 9, and I must write you because what happened for me tonight was so powerful that I couldn't even open my mouth to tell you about it. Only silent words seem a possibility right now.

You took me through a journey that I had not expected possible. I went tonight through life and death, love and fear, passion, torment, despair and renunciation...

During the brief instants of music that were - for the symphony seemed to last only a few infinite seconds to me - I traveled a thousand years. After the last note yielded to the universal silence, I felt like my life had been taken away from me; the music had stolen it. I felt exhausted, drained. I couldn't even raise my hands to clap. I don't even understand how people found the strength to applaud; I simply could not. I know I should have: it is what one is supposed to do when the music stops in a concert hall, but it seemed to me that an eternity of silence meant to follow the last written note. So, I just left. And I walked home in that silence, not knowing the world around me. I wish I could thank you. Or thank Mahler. But what was present in Jordan Hall tonight, that forced its way inside me, was neither you not Mahler, but Music itself.

My life has changed forever.


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