In this season of discovery, hidden strengths and depths heretofore unrevealed became the theme of the latest Los Angeles Mozart Orchestra concert at the Wilshire-Ebell Theatre.
On the second subscription concert of its winter series, the 15-year old orchestra, continuing its search for a music director, came up with gold--not only on the podium but in a provocative and satisfying program.
Patrick Flynn, a former principal conductor at American Ballet Theatre, and now music director of the Riverside County Philharmonic, not only put together a challenging, emotionally resonant agenda for the skilled players of the LAMO but also conducted it with authority and wit.
Realizing, as it seldom has, its potential for musicmaking of genuine depth and instrumental display, the 27-member band played this program of important works by Boyce, Haydn and Mozart brilliantly. And with a panache and zest rare at any symphonic concert.
Haydn's Symphony No. 75 must be, as Flynn told his sizable audience before the performance Saturday night, one of the most shamefully neglected of masterworks. This reading restored its fortunes, in playing of virtuosic display, deep contrasts and pristine detailing.
Flynn preceded this largely unknown piece with another, Mozart's Symphony No. 17, a deeply touching work also rife with instrumental showiness.
Whether these two would make such a strong impression under other hands than Flynn's--he conducts from memory, with utter confidence and concentration and not one wasted motion--we can only wonder.
Haydn's D-major Cello Concerto came before intermission, with the accomplished and masterly Peter Rejto as soloist. In the opening movement the cellist was apparently having an off night; thereafter, Rejto made it all come together, with strong support from Flynn and the orchestra.