The Sixteen's annual tours of our cathedrals have never before visited Coventry, though with Tippett on board alongside Tallis it must have seemed a good idea at the time to include another 20th century cathedral.

In the event, the building itself played too prominent a part, and not just because of a persistent buzz high in the ceiling. But first, the music.

Harry Christopher's group has long been one of the yardsticks among the extraordinary wealth of a capella ensembles that bring us early liturgical music, and their well-chosen starter, Tallis's exquisite Salvator mundi, with its elegant architecture and snappy dissonances, gave proof enough.

Christopher's direction is firm and exact, and with fine singers like these the sound is perfectly balanced, the phrasing incisive, the whole absolutely complete and deeply satisfying.

The programme included works from Tallis as composer for both the Catholic and Anglican rites, the solid starkness of the Tunes for Archbishop Parker's Psalter so familiar in hymns and Vaughan Williams's Fantasia and such a contrast with the thrilling Marian Motet Gaude gloriosa Dei Mater.

Sadly the resonance of this huge and lofty space was far kinder to Tallis than to Tippett, too much of his wonderfully poignant gospel songs turned into a mushy fog by the long reverberation. Only the first, Steal Away, escaped more or less unscathed.

It is, of course, easier to go to town on a printed programme when it's going to last for 16 performances, and it helps to have a writer with Sally Dunkley's authority, but even so this one was a model to be widely imitated.

John Bradshaw