Best Musical Moments Of 2010: Joyce DiDonato's Matchless Mahler : Deceptive Cadence The award-winning mezzo-soprano makes plenty of moving music on her own, but her most profound musical experience this year had nothing to do with opera. Instead, came in the form of Gustav Mahler's "resurrection" Symphony.
NPR logo Best Musical Moments Of 2010: Joyce DiDonato's Matchless Mahler

Best Musical Moments Of 2010: Joyce DiDonato's Matchless Mahler

This week we're asking prominent musicians — and you, too — to tell us a story about the best musical moment of 2010.

Joyce DiDonato was caught unaware by the spiritual power of Mahler's 2nd symphony. Shiela Rock hide caption

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Shiela Rock

Joyce DiDonato was caught unaware by the spiritual power of Mahler's 2nd symphony.

Shiela Rock

I'm one of the fortunate people whose days are filled with music: making it, studying it, listening to it, analyzing it.

The day this "Best Musical Moment of 2010" question arrived in my inbox was the day of my Sitzprobe (seated rehearsal) for Strauss' "Der Rosenkavalier" at the Teatro Real in Madrid. My first instinct was to reply that these six hours of heavenly music making couldn't be topped — which could be said for a lot of my experiences at "work."

However, just a few weeks before, one musical experience grabbed me by the throat, heart and soul all at once. It left me a changed person and imprinted itself on my musical memory forever:  Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 2, "The Resurrection," live with Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic.

Believe it or not, it was my first time hearing the piece live, and I left the auditorium that evening overwhelmed beyond description. My senses were completely inundated and, blessedly, I'd been given the gift of a life-affirming experience that reminded me about the core goodness of humanity.

Sir Simon Rattle conducts the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in the Finale of Mahler's 2nd Symphony.

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I needed that reminder desperately since so much of the "buzz" today seems intent on showing the opposite side of our species, and I relished every riveting, soul-provoking moment of it.

Please tell us about your best musical moment of 2010 in the comments section.