Noooo… the last concert of the season! Noooo… the last chance to hear Allan Vogel (oboe) and David Shostac (flute), who are retiring after 85 years of combined service to the orchestra. I am not happy about any of this, having come to know LACO and its wonderful musicians somewhat late in the game. I feel like I’ve missed out all these years living in LA. Oh yeah and also, noooo… next season is Jeffrey Kahane’s final season as Music Director. Rats. HOWEVER, they are still an amazing chamber orchestra, the individuals who succeed the wonderful retirees will be accomplished musicians. We will also have the opportunity to witness the next step in LACO’s evolution with a new Music Director. Things to look forward to… even though our hearts are kind of broken.
I was unfamiliar with LACO’s Sound Investment program, which was launched in 2001 as a way of developing funding for commissioned projects and to offer people a glimpse inside an artist’s creative process. Sound Investment members contribute toward the composer’s fee and production costs of the premiere performances. In return, each investor and a guest are invited to attend three composer-commissioner “salons,” held over the course of the orchestra’s concert season. It’s a great way of engaging the audience on a profound level with those who compose, conduct and perform music. A very cool idea, I think. On Sunday evening we saw their latest commission, Matthew Aucoin’s Evidence. What a wonderful opportunity for a young composer riding the crest of a wave to present his work and to connect with his audience in a more intimate way. I very much enjoyed hearing his thoughts and the context he gave us before we listened to his piece. He is very talented and very young and I look forward to following his career and seeing his growth.
Mozart. Ya know I love him. Piano Concerto No. 17 played by Marc-Andre Hamelin was a special treat for me. The composer has such mastery (in my opinion) and inventiveness and in the hands of a pianist with such great facility, the stunning slow movement had an almost “breath on the face” intimacy. The finale is a set of variations building to a freewheeling cadenza type of thingy (I believe that is the technical term for it). Mr. Hamelin is one of those virtuosos for whom nothing seems to hold any difficulty. He’s an interesting guy, not overtly emotional, clinically precise in his playing and yet you do feel that he has unwrapped himself before you. I think it’s that he’s so elegant. He’s ardent, but practiced. I loved it. It was exquisite.
And Schumann’s Second Symphony! Large sweep, many emotions, gorgeous detail! Schumann was really living when he composed this baby. It was a wonderful way to end the season. LACO doing what it does so well, playing a masterpiece masterfully. Maestro Kahane doing what he does so well, conducting the wholly living hell out of it. The loyal audience enjoying every note of it, every fist pump, every heroic overtone and fanfare. We sailed off in to our Sunday evening on a wave of Romance, our hearts repaired and ready for next season.
Thanks so much.