GREENSBORO — Wednesday’s concert by the Eastern Festival Orchestra wasn’t a mostly Mozart night — it was an all Mozart night. Four concertos provided a hearty feast in this Eastern Music Festival performance at Guilford College’s Dana Auditorium.
The night was in full swing when Kevin Reid, the principal horn player for the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, showcased his skills for Horn Concerto No. 4.
This concerto begins with an orchestral introduction, presenting several of the tunes that will be used in the course of the movement. Reid entered, sporting a full, rich tone, with great facility in the runs.
Gerard Schwarz, conducting on the floor rather than from the more traditional podium, seemed to move into the orchestra more as a member of the ensemble rather than the leader. His direction throughout the evening caught both the elegance and the bravura inherent in the scores.
Jake Fridkis, who is principal flutist for the Fort Worth Symphony, was the soloist for Flute Concerto No. 1. Although Mozart was only 21 when he composed it, the score exudes confidence. Fridkis’ handling of the wide leaps and playing in the upper register was a joy to hear.
The concert’s momentum continued with the performance of the Fourth Violin Concerto by soloist Jenny Gregoire, concertmaster of Alabama’s Mobile Symphony Orchestra.
The composition is filled with youthful excitement and Gregoire’s playing perfectly caught that enthusiasm. Her cadenza was marked by some impressive double stops and her reading of the slow, lyrical movement was stunningly beautiful.
The final work on the program was Piano Concerto No. 14. The soloist was William Wolfram, a long-time member of the EMF piano faculty.
One can find the drama and daring harmonic excursions that mark a mature Mozart in the piece.
Wolfram, a commanding player, caught both the sparkle and the passion inherent in the score at every turn. His filigree playing was crystalline, the intensity powerful.
Elegance punctuated the second Andantino movement. But perhaps the best writing is saved for the finale, which Wednesday teemed with terrific interaction between soloist and orchestra.