BILLED as "a touch of spring", this choral concert by The 24 coincided with the wintriest spell in a long time. For the decent-sized audience, it proved well worth braving the snowy weather to hear this varied mixture of attractive 17th and 19th century works, all unaccompanied.

Mendelssohn’s Mitten wir in Leben sind immediately showed off this choir’s range: mellow depth in the male voices followed by equally convincing, effortlessly floated female strands, then an unwavering and focused body of concerted sound.

Their intonation was impeccable, even in the taxing harmonic shifts of Richard Strauss’s Lied der Freundschaft. In Brahms’s choral songs Op. 42, the inventive word painting of Venita, and the recognition in Darthulas Grabesgesang that its attempts at consolation are inadequate and futile, were pointed up cogently. Brahms’s songs Op. 104 were equally shapely, and characterful.

Highlights of the seventeenth-century items included Johann Schein’s wonderful Da Jakob vollendet hatte, the rhythms cutting across the prevailing beat here unusually poignant, and then the sheer sonic magnificence achieved by only 24 singers in three antiphonally placed choirs for Schein’s Quem quaeris. Items by Schütz were perhaps a little four-square and literal, but Hans Leo Hassler’s Ach Weh des Leiden!— performed by only five voices—was movingly sung, its clashing imitative soprano lines memorably realised.

Robert Hollingworth shared conducting duties with members of the choir: it was all excellent, yet Hollingworth’s remarkably flexible, unambiguous yet expressive directing seemed to demand most from the singers—demands they thrillingly satisfied.