Jupiter Symphony is a very big name for a very small orchestra, a chamber ensemble in fact, that brought a nice lighthearted program of 18th-century delights to the University of Maryland's Adult Education Center on Saturday. With just four first violins and four seconds and other strings in proportion, its performances were a reminder of how much more interesting Handel, Haydn and Mozart textures sound when the winds are not overwhelmed by a welter of strings.
Conductor Jens Nygaard is blessed with a gift of tempo, a wonderful ability to pace things so that they move with inevitability and with alacrity but without any sense of haste. For some reason, however, this talent does not appear to extend to the pacing of the pauses between movements, which in this concert seemed to be devoid of anticipation and filled with disconcertingly dead silence.
Lilian Kallir, playing on a normal Steinway grand which, visually, seemed to dwarf the orchestra, had a good time with the operatic possibilities of the Mozart E-flat Concerto, K. 271. She explored the dramatic emotionalisms of the middle movement thoroughly, took the finale at a much faster clip than the orchestra was comfortable with and maintained throughout a rather matter-of-fact approach.
Flutist Helen Campo gave a nicely molded reading of a Mozart Andante for flute and orchestra.