Attempt at a catalogue of life-altering musical moments. This is the first; others will follow in random order.
Mahler’s Eighth Symphony, Carnegie Hall, Robert Shaw conducting the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, 1995. The biggest noise I have ever heard, and I heard My Bloody Valentine in their prime. Shaw arrayed the chorus in the upper balconies of Carnegie, so that the sound rushed down from above as well as from the back and front: you were engulfed. When it was done — "The indescribable here becomes fact” — and the audience began roaring back, I had the uncanny feeling that Mahler himself was about to walk onstage to take a bow. I can’t explain it, but the memory of that feeling makes me shiver.