A lovely afternoon and elegant venue was perfect for this spring celebration, and an imaginatively-themed concert by Jeffrey Skidmore and his handpicked Consort of just ten singers.

It was also a journey of discovery, with the unknown 16th century Claude Le Jeune rubbing shoulders with composers of today – America’s Morten Lauridsen and Gerald Busby (both masters of lush choral textures) and our own John Joubert, present to modestly acknowledge his Three Portraits, a work whose harmonic directness and economy of means (so vibrantly sung here) make such a powerful emotional impact.

There was also Britten (the Five Flower Songs tailor-made for the occasion) delivered, as was everything, with subtly pointed intimacy and expressively charged attention to detail.

James MacMillan’s hauntingly beautiful So Deep, however, should have been left to resonate and linger in the memory, instead of being banished by a Rutter encore – such an unbecoming choice.

Rating: 5/5