The Los Angeles Mozart Orchestra is on the move. Next season, it will join the stampede of organizations heading downtown to the Colburn School's Zipper Hall, and it will start a new series in San Pedro's Warner Grand Theatre. Given the Zipper's marvelously warm acoustics for chamber music, this sounds like a good move, the equivalent of a skilled musician trading up for a finer, more flexible instrument to grow with.
Meanwhile, back at the decent if somewhat dry-sounding Wilshire-Ebell Theatre on Saturday night, Lucinda Carver and company bid farewell to their longtime home with--surprise--an all-Mozart concert, the only one of its current season. There have been a lot of Mozart-dominated programs in town this spring, most of them coming off pretty well, yet this one may have been the most satisfying of the lot.
For one thing, this was underexposed Mozart, the bulk of it dating from his Salzburg years, and for another, Carver absolutely refused to take any of it for granted. Too often fluffed off as a warmup, the Divertimento in D, K. 251, was treated as something really special, full of lively, tripping, even danceable rhythms, with each phrase carefully shaped and polished, hurtling along at a swift yet comfortable clip.
Likewise, the Symphony No. 33, K. 319, benefited from Carver's fleet conception and attention to detail, though not to as dramatic a degree as the Divertimento.
In between the instrumental works was a pair of vocal pieces, the motet "Exsultate, jubilate," K. 165, and the aria "Vorrei spiegarvi, oh Dio!" K. 418, with soprano Camille King caressing the lines, including some treacherous high notes, sweetly over Carver's distinguished orchestral accompaniment.