There was a hushed, attentive atmosphere, as lutenist Hopkinson Smith opened this recital (Thursday, National Centre for Early Music) with two thrilling fantasias by the Spanish vihuelist Luys Milan.

A captivated audience was hugely rewarded, as Mr Smith wove together the most intricate tapestries of song, virtuoso passages and, in the pavanes, dance. The playing of both the Milan collections were faultless, attention detail simply impeccable.

The second half belonged to the Italian lute maestro Francesco da Milano. And Hopkinson Smith treated us to another virtuoso display of early 16th-century lute music. Here, the dancing rhythms and sheer energy, musical dialogue and, indeed, drama, were impeccably delivered. Everything about the performer radiated intelligent music-making of the highest order. This included a pavane ‘reconstruction’ by Mr Smith which breathed authenticity. Even the tunings were a delight.

The Friday YEMF lunchtime recital (Unitarian Chapel) hosted a wide range of 17th and 18th-century harpsichord music by the excellent Mahan Esfahani. The programme opened with a Froberger toccata with dazzling keyboard skills, resulting in a polished and very animated performance.

Indeed, as the Couperin confirmed, Mahan Esfahani is a consummate performer, playing with vitality, drive and authority.

Johann Kuhnau’s The Wedding of Jacob, one of his ‘Biblical’ sonatas, is remarkable in ambition and included infectious, joyful playing. The quirky, dramatic mood swings and full-throttle celebrations were great fun and clearly relished by the performer. The opening of the Bach English Suite No.2 was like stepping into a musical Rolls Royce, the music sublime, the playing simply imperious.