I've just returned from the positively glorious Walt Disney Concert Hall, where I've seen the absolutely staggering Esa-Pekka Salonen conduct fragments from Berlioz's Lélio, and the Symphonie Fantastique in a joint performance with avant garde theater group Complicite, called Strange Poetry - Berlioz and the Chemistry of Dreams, and quite frankly, I feel a little weak in the knees, because it was incredibly beautiful. The building, the music, the performance - everything about it was as if it had been lowered down to earth on pulleys, directly from heaven.
Esa-Pekka Salonen's performance, in particular, absolutely cracked me - his combination of fluid grace and forceful mastery is almost more than I can bear, and I swear to you all, I nearly died of it. Berlioz wrote that to properly render these pieces requires "a combination of extreme precision and irresistable verve, a regulated vehemence, a dreamy tenderness, and an almost morbid melancholy..."; which could really just be a review of this performance. Absolutely brilliant. I was wishing it would never end.
I know this sounds melodramatic, but seriously: it gives me hope to see something like that. Human beings are capable of so much perfection.