The impetus for this fundraising concert, organized by the award winning Bromsgrove Concerts, was the publication of Old Stones, New Tales by the poet Richard Douglas Pennant.
Drawing part of his inspiration from ancient Hellenic history, so rich with myth and legend, Pennant shares his time between Wales and Cyprus, and music of eastern folk traditions featured here, framed by performances by the Allegri string quartet.
The concert opened with a light and transparent performance of Shostakovich's Quartet no. 1.
Composed in response to the 'somewhat naive and bright moods associated with spring' following the birth of the composer's son and the triumphant premiere of his Fifth Symphony, this piece had an air of innocence and relaxation.
There followed a selection of poems which though rooted in the present constantly revisit the past and thoughts of ancient times, stirred by the landscape in which Pennant found his inspiration (including Dusk Syria which was first drafted on the road from Hammas to Damascus).
These were accompanied by Ross Daly and Kelly Thomas on rabab and Cretan lyra.
After the interval multi-instrumentalist Daly and his colleague demonstrated their skills with 19th century Turkish classical music from the Ottoman tradition.
This was engaging music with a clear recurring structure.
More poems followed with a more domestic focus, and the Allegri playing music by Roland Melia (former conductor of the Cyprus State Orchestra) and Andreas Moustoukis.
The concert concluded with a stunning performance of Janacek's Quartet no. 1 'The Kreutzer Sonata' based on Tolstoy's novel and prompted by Janacek's own tortured love for a much younger woman.
This passionate work received a performance of restless flickering intensity, its jagged figurations thrillingly dovetailed in a concentrated atmosphere of barely contained emotion.