THE Joyful Company, one of Europe's finest chamber choirs, conducted by their founder director Peter Broadbent, were impressive from their first notes of Bach's motet Der Geist hilft unser Swachheit auf. They produced a marvellous flow of beautiful contrapuntal sound.

Part-songs by Elgar: The Shower, a cameo of calm (with a superb final bass note), and by contrast The Fountain, its changes of tempi and delicate tenor parts achieved with ease, the final phrase a crescendoed climax; 'Go, song of mine' impeccably tuned and phrased.

Judith Bingham's The Drowned Lovers with dramatic soloist Lorna Youngs (mezzo-soprano), was intriguingly intermingled with the words and music of Stanford's The Bluebird, in a passionate interpretation.

Most compelling was soprano Harriet Fraser in Aaron Copland's In The Beginning, where she proclaimed the Biblical narrative, which was amplified by the chorus (often singing in different keys from the soloist).

Marahi by Jonathan Harvey was a complex ritual hymn of praise to the Virgin Mary and the Buddhist Goddess Varahi, involving many vocal techniques (such as animal sounds and shouted interjections). Also included was Anthony Payne's Break, break, break.

For the concluding item we heard more Bach: Singet dem Herrn written for double choir: runs tripped off tongues and every polyphonic strand was heard clearly, singers taking obvious pleasure in their music-making.

Composers Judith Bingham, Jonathan Harvey and Anthony Payne were present to hear excellent renderings of their works.