IT’S a while since I had the pleasure of attending a Burnham Music Group concert, and this one certainly didn’t disappoint.

Entitled A Musical Miscellany, it proceeded to be just that, journeying us through different centuries and musical eras, via both sacred and secular offerings, all led by the very accomplished Oliver Wood.

The choir was on cracking form, making little work of the technically tricky Duruflé’s Quatre Motets sur des Thèmes Grégoriens.

Bass timbres cut through and added a richness and depth to much of the evening, especially in Britten’s Rustics and Fisherman.

The evening opened with Oliver showing he wasn’t just a one trick pony and that he could play the flute too, delivering Débussy’s Syrinx, one of my favourites and a notoriously difficult piece to perfect.

The audience needn’t have worried. Oliver handled it like the pro he is, and gifted us a magical, haunting, technically perfect piece with impeccable dynamics. I could have watched him all evening and I’m rather hoping he might perform a one-man recital in the Dengie.

As if one virtuoso weren’t enough, the audience was treated to two.

The diminutive Meriel Barclay, who frankly didn’t look big enough to hold her magnificent harp, was not only strong enough but played with supreme mastery and delicacy a selection of music designed to demonstrate the harp’s versatility, interspersing her solos with snippets of info about the harp, its history and the provenance of much of her repertoire.

It turns out that the 19th century was a boom-time in France for the development of the harp.

Who knew? I certainly didn’t.

The evening came to an end with BMG’s superb interpretation of Elgar’s As Torrents in Summer, a fitting end to a wonderful soirée and quite apposite given recent weather.