Saturday's fine concert by Edward Polochick and his Concert Artists of Baltimore in Friedberg Hall at the Peabody Conservatory began with a flexible and elegant performance of David Ward-Steinman's 1962 Concerto No. 2 for Chamber Orchestra. The composer seemed to be working under the influences of Stravinsky (in the neo-classical structure of the piece), of Copland (in the spacious melodies of the first and second movements) and of Bartok (in the fiery final movement). It was attractive, if not particularly original, and it showed off the considerable strengths of the orchestra.
A performance of much better music -- Mozart's Concerto foOboe -- paid greater dividends. The soloist was Vladimir Lande, a young Russian who was until three years ago a principal player in the Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) Philharmonic. He has a somewhat more nasal, sharper sound than we are accustomed to hearing from American players. His playing also seems to be constructed on vocal, rather than on instrumental, lines. That is to say that he was able to make his timbre -- particularly in the work's second and third movements -- and phrasing resemble that of a soprano voice in all its florid and affecting splendor.