THE Festival Artists continued this excellent York Chamber Music Festival with a delightful programme of Elgar, Bridge and Mendelssohn.

The concert opened with Elgar’s early Serenade For Strings: a musical snapshot of things to come. The opening Allegro, marked "piacevole", was indeed utterly pleasant, the players intuitively projecting the nobility of this music with apparent ease.

But it was in the central, elegiac Larghetto that was most enjoyable; the ensemble made the poignant melodies sing. This was followed by Frank Bridge’s early Piano Quintet – not that I would have guessed that this was actually a work by Frank Bridge. It was, well, so "Romantic". The performance, as with the Elgar, was simply superb.

The opening Adagio is a brooding, intense affair and the quintet, with the excellent Charles Owen (piano), delivered a rich, fully rewarding account of the work.

I particularly enjoyed the transition from the ever-so-sober opening of the second movement and the joyous music making in the central scherzo.The playing had a real sense of energy and fun. The musical balance and narrative was judged to perfection throughout all three movements.

The performance of Mendelssohn’s Octet was so full of energy and vitality it should have come with a government health warning! This was ensemble playing of the very highest order. To be sure, we can talk about the way they successfully projected an orchestral sound world.

We can talk about the superb pacing, the musical development, the "symphonic" aspect of the work which was (again) judged to perfection. But, in the end, one runs out of superlatives to describe a performance which was so utterly complete.