Orchestra of the Swan's two-year celebration of the centenary of Sir Michael Tippett's birth in 1905 concluded on Monday with one of the composer's very last works, his concert-suite The Tempest.
Dating originally from music composed for an Old Vic production in 1962, the score was in 1995 finally expanded into an 11-movement intermingling of songs and dances for 14 instrumentalists and tenor and baritone soloists.
Regrettably the music is uneven in quality, with an eccentric "Trumpet Tune with Boogie" sitting uncomfortably alongside a setting of "Full Fathom Five" which suits the masque-like conception perfectly.
The trills which always represented Tippett at his most ecstatic here convey an appropriately Jacobean atmosphere, with stately dances and musing instrumental conversations (including a gravely beautiful duet between viola and harp) punctuating characterful vocal settings. David Curtis and his players presented the score in loving detail, and soloists Mark Chaundy and David Stout sang eloquently and persuasively.
Stout sounded justifiably a little tired by the end, the baritone having worked consistently hard throughout an evening which had begun with Schoenberg's revelatory chamber-ensemble reduction of Mahler's Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen.
Shorn of its orchestral lushness, the music breathes a Schubertian bleakness and an authentic sense of klezmer-like lament.
Julian Philips' Swift Partitions for baritone and ensemble sets Emily Dickinson poems of the sea with an almost cartoon-like wit, vivid allusive writing referring the listener so congenially to the composer's well-marshalled aural imagery. Its premiere was a huge success both in terms of performance and of audience reception.
So, "our revels now are ended"? By no means: next season's attractive programme celebrates ten years of TOOTS. How time has flown.