AN extraordinary evening of stunningly beautiful music graced the acoustically near-perfect environment of the beautiful medieval Chapter House of York Minster last Saturday.

Ewa Salecka, musical director of Prima Choral Artists, brought together the Baltic Neopolis Quartet from Poland – comprising Emanuel Salvador, Grzegorz Warzecha, Emilia Goch Salvador and Tomasz Szczesny – with Prima Vox chamber choir to celebrate music from some of the greatest 20th and 21st century repertories.

From the opening Philip Glass composition, String Quartet No 2 (Company), followed by the string quartet and choir premiere of Pawel Lukaszewski’s Laudate Dominum, to the Dark Night Of The Soul, composed by Ola Gjeilo, the audience was entranced by a joyous and uplifting evening with some of the finest musicians ever heard in York, and they gave an enthusiastic standing ovation after the final piece, Gjeilo's Luminous Night Of The Soul.

Music has the power to touch the soul in a way no other medium can. Some music is written by composers who seem to be able to reach into something beyond normal reality into a place of spiritual beauty: when this is translated and expressed by gifted musicians, we are fortunate to have the opportunity to visit and experience something of that place.

An unexpected treat was the duet between Greg Birch’s piano and Emanuel Salvador’s violin as they gave a stunning performance of Kreisler’s Violin Concerto.

Review by Sue Cooke and Barry Male