Review: Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s world premiere of Ellen Reid’s “Floodplain”

Posted on: May 23, 2022

“Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra ended its season Sunday evening at Royce Hall,” writes CJ Ru in Tuesday’s (5/17) San Francisco Classical Voice. “That it has been a ‘doozy’ of change and challenge—per [Executive Director Ben] Cadwallader’s preconcert remarks—was evident in music director Jaime Martín’s pandemic-imposed absence. Guest conductor Stefan Asbury flew in with half a week to rehearse a program that, beyond Beethoven and Brahms, included the world premiere of a new piece by Creative Advisor and Composer-In-Residence Ellen Reid. Floodplain, Reid’s second LACO commission, …. was scheduled to premiere in May 2020, the composer said. The ‘lush and dangerous’ landscape she conceived certainly invites curiosity on how it morphed in the interim…. Floodplain flows vividly pictorial on this terrestrial plane…. In all three works on the program, LACO excelled in passages of fluid warmth. The word ‘lush’ proliferated…. The second movement of the Brahms wafted with the scent of soft leaf-padded soil in the May-afternoon glow of an old temperate forest. The second movement of the Beethoven radiated ruddy gold. Both seemed to cast a fond eye downstream at Floodplain’s soundscapes, unfurling past its perils, flush with fertile promise.”