YORK Chamber Music Festival's three evening concerts were deeply satisfying. In the last two, all six players were as totally committed as they had been in the first. These magnetic performances proved irresistible.

Beethoven’s Archduke piano trio, Friday’s opener, was majestic. A steady start led into a jaunty scherzo. The theme and variations were particularly expansive and Andrew Brownell sustained his keyboard clarity right through the whirlwind finale, for which the whole piece had been a measured build-up.

Schubert’s immense String Quintet described similar progress. First violinist Magnus Johnston and second cellist Tim Lowe between them maintained its drive. In the Adagio, the strings hovering over cello pizzicato were hypnotic. The Scherzo settled into a comfortable canter; its Trio was richly autumnal. The finale was more amicably Viennese than menacing, but never less than intense.

Saturday was a mainly G minor evening, the key of both Mozart’s Piano Trio, K.478 and Brahms’s First Piano Quartet, Op 25. The filling in this sandwich was Schubert’s delightful Notturno, D.897 in E flat, a gently rippling barcarole for piano trio.

Brownell was the understated hero of the hour. Despite having the piano lid open, he consistently provided a featherbed for the strings, easier said than done in works like the Brahms, which can easily imitate a piano concerto but with struggling accompaniment. His sensitivity was exemplary.

G minor was always a fate-filled key for Mozart, proved here in the unison start to the quartet. A sense of menace was rarely far from the surface in the outer movements. Only in the Andante was there a balancing repose.

In the Brahms, the exposition boiled up fierily, so that when the texture was stripped right back in the closing bars, the contrast could hardly have been starker. The Andante was typical Brahms, slow, sweeping long bows from the strings. The Hungarian rondo made a brilliant finale, the strings whirling like dervishes, the piano in a dazzling moto perpetuo. This was a really special festival, thoroughly worth its place in the calendar.