MUSIC and DANCE REVIEWS : Carver Conducts Classics at the Ford

Conductor Lucinda Carver and the Los Angeles Mozart Orchestra are becoming reliable providers of alert, bright music-making. These virtues were again evident and only slightly dimmed by the encroaching cool evening air Friday at John Anson Ford Amphitheatre in Hollywood.

Carver led a program of music by Cimarosa, Mozart and Haydn. She opened with a sparkling account of the rarely played and unjustly neglected Overture to Cimarosa's "I Traci Amanti" and closed with a spirited reading of Haydn's also less-encountered Symphony No. 59 ("Fire").

In between, she offered a lyric reading of the Divertimento in D, K. 136, and two arias by Mozart--"A questo seno . . . Or che il cielo," K. 374, and "Voi avete un cor fedele," K. 217, with soloist Camille King. These were the same arias sung by a different soloist with the ensemble at the Wilshire-Ebell Theatre in November.

Insofar as can be judged by hearing it in an outdoor setting, King possesses a sweet, small and focused soprano, one that remained even throughout the range except toward the top, but which did not appear to bloom. She was alert to the text, but her florid singing ascended from a wobbly base.

Carver provided lapidary accompaniment. Yet with programming such as this, as well as the early Divertimento, it remains an open and tantalizing question as to what extent she can tap into Mozart's darker expressivity.

The orchestra played with incisive rhythms and tight ensemble, the strings encountering fewer pitch problems than might be expected in the cool outdoors.

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