On Wednesday, at Ambassador Auditorium, Iona Brown and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra presented a mixed bill whose first half was devoted to works by child composers: the 8-year-old Mozart's First Symphony, K. 16, and the more mature--aged 14--Mendelssohn's String Symphony No. 9.
The Mozart is unenlightening, with nothing of the harbinger about it. But there is a whiff of important things ahead in Mendelssohn's suave exercise--in the catchy, if underdeveloped, melodic ideas of the opening movement and a peppery finale (Mendelssohn was always good at finales) that gives the impression of having been created specifically to inspire applause.
Both pieces were given clean-limbed, briskly paced readings by Brown, directing from the concertmaster's chair.
The remainder of the program was given over to more substantial fare. First, the A-minor Violin Concerto of J. S. Bach, with Brown herself as the commanding soloist, mediating convincingly between the sec , detached-note manner of the period specialists and the vibrato-legato style of the Romantically oriented violinist.
Bach was followed by Joseph Haydn, his Symphony No. 22 in E flat, "The Philosopher"--so called for the long, pensively ambling slow movement with which it opens.