PARTICULAR interest in this event centred on the debut of Benjamin Morris as the Chapter House Choir’s director. He chose a menu that looked back to Remembrance and forward to Advent, a sensibly safe option that encompassed everything from Gregorian chant to Gorecki, with a sizeable French contingent in the middle.

His conducting style is pleasingly restrained. He is not given to the whirling histrionics of so many younger choral directors; so his singers sense his faith in them.

He chose to deliver all but two of the programme’s 12 pieces from directly in front of the high altar, at some remove from most of his audience. The gain in atmospherics was offset by a loss of presence, not remedied by diction that was sometimes – mainly at quieter moments – lax.

But the evening had many virtues, not least the alertness of the voices. The first half was framed by In Paradisum, first in plainsong and then in Fauré’s setting, its succulence heightened by Jeremy Lloyd’s organ accompaniment. England was represented by a Byrd canticle; two spare-textured John Tavener anthems, both replete with Alleluias; Vaughan Williams’s early setting of Christina Rossetti’s sonnet Rest and – most gloriously sung of all – Tallis’s magnificent seven-voice Miserere Nostri. A tasty mix.

France countered with two Poulenc cycles, one each for female and male voices: the ladies were suitably reflective, the gentlemen took a sturdier line. Gorecki’s Totus Tuus rounded things off, beautifully restrained. A propitious start for Ben.