We are spoiled rotten in Los Angeles really…to have such a world renowned and highly celebrated company in our midst. The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra really has outdone itself this season. They offer us a renewing of our souls. A healing balm to all this stress and discontent and destruction. Bathing in music is not at all a cliche. It is a necessity.
Now we are able finally to be together again and in some of the most beautiful venues in the city. A world-weary audience, grateful to be out and needing the vibrations that only classical instruments, glorious human voices, and devoted players can bring. And the players and performers, jubilant to be able to create, to share their talents and their joy. What a combination!
I was thrilled to be able to be a small part of this their first concert of the season. The air was electric, the atmosphere one of utter triumph and exaltation. It felt good to be alive, surrounded by those equally happy to be there.
The first part of the evening was provided by the American composer Shelly Washington, a musician and composer with one foot in classical and one in D.I.Y post rock. She is herself in fact a celebration of duality. Washington is drawn to the ‘both’ in our world. For her, it is personal, black and white, feminine and masculine, teacher and student, high and low.
“Both” is a deeply beautiful and complex piece, a study of the shadow and the light of all of us. Performed with all the grace that Washington’s exquisite talent inspires. Conversations in music. Thoughtful, eloquent, truthful and delightful.
What a pleasure to be able to listen to this stunning new work, composed as part of the Amplifying Voices program, with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival and School, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and Kansas City Symphony. All these groups proud of co-commissioning this incredible artist.
The second part of the evening was Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in D minor, Op.125, “Choral,” with his final movement, “Ode To Joy.” Which was about the mood of the theatre I can tell you, after Washington’s wonderful first act.
The Los Angles Chamber Orchestra, conducted by the brilliant Jaime Martin, who is also the Chambers Artistic Director, was joined by four vocal soloists of the Los Angeles Opera’s Colburn-Stein Young Artist program, who were astonishing.
The famous final movement, “Ode to Joy,” is of course a choral piece and to mark the occasion was a choir made up from some of the most beautiful voices in our city, gathered from a gorgeous spectrum of talent.
Singers were from such fabulous choirs as the Los Angeles Master Choral, Gay Men’s Chorus, USC Chamber Singer, Vox Femina, Angel City Chorale and the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles populated the constellation. And what a celebration of the glorious diversity of our city this was! There is something indescribable about a group of voices singing, something primordial, ancestral, and uniquely human.
I wept a bit I’m not embarrassed to tell you and I’m sure I was not the only one. An evening of moving, inspiring music from the greatest musical minds both living and not. With an orchestra and singers of the absolute highest caliber. Honestly, who could possibly ask for more?
The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra has many more months of splendid offerings, so if you missed this one, there are thankfully many more!
Go to their website to find out all about them! And be grateful that they exist. The absolute best way to support the arts is by attending the arts!