LACO's Jaime Martin
LACO's Jaime Martin

LA Chamber Orchestra was on fire -- led by the burning passion of its new Spanish conductor, maestro Jaime Martín.

He hits the stage and you immediately know this is going to be big.

He is a colorful personality with an excess of charisma.

Taking the reins from the esteemed Jeffrey Kahane is not an easy act to follow.

Martín is not internationally well known.

Tonight, I believe, I witnessed the inauguration of one who will be known as one of the greatest living conductors.

As LACO’s sixth music director he is a magnanimous collaborator.

Knowing the art of give and take with his singers and musicians is an instinct he possesses.

The audience will have to acclimatize to the new temperature and musical heights of the orchestra brought forth by Martín.It was a special evening that opened with a world premiere piece by Andrew Norman written for the 2019/20 Season.

The new composition, Begin, was fitting for the beginning with Jaime and was a huge success with the audience.

Norman says, “It builds itself from the fragmented utterances of individual players to the sustained, communal sound of the whole orchestra playing together.”Next, we had the pleasure of mezzo-soprano, Anne Sofie von Otter who graced the stage with her beautiful voice.

She sang Les nuits d’été by composer Hector Berlioz.

Ms. Otter has mastered control of her instrument, and she is quite astonishing.

She sang two encores; Elle Tourne la Terre (Léo Ferré) and Once Upon a Summertime (Legrand, Barclay & Marnay)Beethoven said at the premiere of Symphony No.

7 in 1812, that he thought this was his greatest work.

After intermission, we are taken on a journey by Martín with Beethoven’s Symphony No.

7.

Here the maestro succumbs to his love of music.

And it is clear that music loves Martín.

He led the orchestra with relentless expression from the first movement, Poco sostenuto – Vivace.

The energy was high, and the musicians stood for the entire four movements.

The iconic Allegretto was poignant a delicacy to the senses.

Never missing a nuance, he delivered a memorable concert of Beethoven’s greatest work.

Martín is marvelous!This concert by Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO) was given on Saturday, September 28, 2019, at Alex Theatre in Glendale.

For more information and tickets to future concerts visit LACO.