Gerard Schwarz put together a wildly eclectic agenda for his first Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra program of the year: a revival of Henri Lazarof's arcane Chamber Symphony (which the orchestra, under the composer, had introduced in 1977); Saint-Saens' irresistible and circusy Fifth Piano Concerto, and Mozart's benign, untroubled "Posthorn" Serenade.
Heard Saturday night at Ambassador Auditorium, this assemblage of strong musical entities may have discombobulated the sensitive listener, but it seemed to send no one running from the hall. It just offered as much variety as any chamber orchestra program may be able to bear.
Its climactic point proved to be Lorin Hollander's manic account of Saint-Saens' still-wondrous Concerto No. 5. Insofar as Hollander probed the shallows, elucidated the eccentricities, delivered all the colors and resonated the emotionalism of the work, this was the performance of a lifetime.
Indeed, Hollander may be the perfect exponent of this kaleidoscopic piece, since he so obviously believes in it and since his pianistic resources parallel its wide-ranging demands.