The Boston Philharmonic Orchestra performs Ives' Symphony No. 3 and Mahler's Symphony No. 5 at Boston Symphony Hall, under the baton of Maestro Benjamin Zander. Ives' symphony is a gentle, contemplative work for chamber orchestra, musing nostalgically at times on old American tunes. It is one of the loveliest of all Ives’s compositions. After the intimacy of the Ives comes the huge, kaleidoscopic Fifth Symphony of Mahler. This work has always been a special favorite of Mr. Zander. It starts in brooding, despair, and death, moves through great anguish, outlandish satire, and the ineffable love-drenched musings of the famous Adagietto, to arrive at a solid, joy-filled, feet-on-the-ground place of optimism and hope with a happy union -– in this case, the marriage of Mahler himself to his beloved Alma.