Words can scarcely convey the impact that Ex Cathedra makes on the vocal world. Total commitment is the name of the game whether with ancient or modern music; magical offerings of distinctive eras and styles as in this wonderful concert.

What finer to open their new season than dear Bach - his D Major Magnificat performed with musical integrity, and true clarity. Five fine soloists sang within the choir until discreetly taking their solo spots for specific arias. This worked well with support from baroque continuos: woodwinds, cello, chamber organ etcetera. As ever, director Jeffrey Skidmore unobtrusively created splendid contrasts from trumpet/drum flourishes to neat consonants and precision of text from his choir.

Alec Roth's cantata, A Time to Dance, uses the same baroque forces as the Bach, (plus imaginative percussion) with four vocal soloists depicting the year's seasons and human existence. Texts for the 29 sections cover many centuries, teasing the imagination and emotions.

In this, the second performance, one encountered hauntingly beautiful creations and many styles. Summer Noon with its sexy connotations - slinky violins, swooping oboe - caused a ripple of delighted gentle laughter, along with William Blakes' Fly swat from the percussionist, contrasting with Wordsworth's truly exquisite winter snowflakes, and neat quirky rhythms elsewhere. Roth is a magician creating exceptionally fine orchestral and vocal scoring, challenging for everyone and stimulating to perform.

Skidmore had the final say, playing sonorous beats on the huge long drum, eventually leading all from the stage. A standing ovation cheered them on their way