CHICHESTER Psalms, by Bernstein, made an immediate and vivid impact as the Chorus (singing in the original Hebrew), entered in bold and strict rhythm.

With Adrian Lucas conducting, the superb Chorus measured up fully to the demands of Bernstein; the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra - and notably the brass and percussion - complemented.

The extraordinary and beautiful voice of counter-tenor William Purefoy as he sang Psalm 23, with the harp accompaniment, was riveting.

Adrian Lucas continued to conduct the Orchestra for the Ballet Suite: Appalachian Spring, by Copland. This was exciting and expressive, with the many time changes well-judged.

Otherworld, by Judith Bingham, (a Festival commission for chorus and orchestra) was given its premiere.

A stirring opening of a gargantuan chord, followed by unison singing, and then each phrase being repeated in a triplet figure, commanded the audiences' attention.

The words 'God hath placed a ladder before us: We must climb it, step by step' were illustrated in the music with humming up the steps against the wood-wind and rippling solo flute.

The final 'This is the song of the stars', repeated was dazzling and dance-like.

It is difficult to assess a new work on a single hearing, but there were many beautiful and original moments. Roy Massey had conducted, and the musicians had met the challenge admirably.

Adrian Lucas was back on the rostrum for Stravinsky's The Firebird - Suite.

Rich in contrasts of orchestral colour and instrumental combinations, a skilfully descriptive interpretation emerged: solos from various sections of the orchestra, exuberance and bravura, then the tranquillity of the berceuse with harp and shimmering strings, and the final bell-like peel.