All eyes were on Robert Sharpe on Saturday, who was making his first appearance as YMS conductor. Would he have as strong an impact on the group as he has had on York Minster choir over the past two years?

Rather than a fully choral programme, he had chosen Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto as intermezzo between Vivaldi’s Gloria and Beethoven’s Mass in C, all written within a century of one another.

An orchestra of classical dimensions provided an ideal springboard throughout. The Vivaldi got off to a safe start, the chromatics of Et In Terra accurate, if a little gingerly.

But the chorus proved more dashing in an alert Domine Fili and positively vivid at Cum Sancto Spiritu. Jane Wright’s oboe and Sally Harrison’s soprano had duetted charmingly in the Domine Deus.

The choir was even more attentive in the Beethoven: a gleaming start to the Gloria and persuasive fugal textures at its close were just a foretaste.

Orchestral electricity starting the Credo was infectious. A mild failure of nerve at Et Vitam Venturi was compensated later by equally difficult but much braver entries in Hosanna in Excelsis. The solo quartet was more reliable than striking. But the choir clearly derives confidence from Sharpe.

Jonathan Sage was an agile but intimate soloist in the Mozart.

For all his twinkling fingerwork, it was the Adagio – taken very slowly – that truly impressed, the pianissimo return of the theme breathtaking. Orchestral balance was faultless.