It is hard to imagine a more alluring title than ‘The Yorkshire Garland revealed’.

The pieces in this vital album were printed in York in 1788, a collection by a one-time ragtime pianist who presented it to the Bodleian Library in Oxford.

Alva, in the shape of effervescent singer Vivien Ellis and deft fiddler and occasional vocalist Giles Lewin, unveiled a representative sample of these catchy ballads. They were typical of what ordinary 18th-century folk would sing and play at home, in the taverns, on the streets, or at the fair or racecourse: live music, in other words, as a real and active part of every aspect of life.

Alva brought them vividly to life: a little dance, a little speech-song, some fiddle interludes, and no two verses of a ballad sung quite alike. They dared their audience into singing the refrains to Yorke, Yorke for my Monie, and In Praise of Yarm. It made even us foreigners proud.

The Harp Consort were equally spirited, four players - who also sing and dance - in 17th-century ballads and art music, much of it nautically flavoured. You would not have expected such a colourful panoply from harp, violin, guitar and cornetto. They doubled, of course, on psaltery, hurdy gurdy, bagpipes and shawm, with Steven Player also tripping the light fantastic with conspicuous expertise.

Tudor galliards led the way. Playford’s Mal Sims, slow and sleazy on a shawm, and Purcell’s Jack o’Lanthorn’s dubious escapades, led to mariners’ hijinks and hornpipes. Even a suite from Handel’s Almira and a Purcell miscellany- including Dido’s When I am Laid in Earth, for cornetto, if you please - were jauntily staged.

Seasoned by brief melodramas - accompanied readings - from such notables as Nathaniel Tate and Thomas D’Urfey, not forgetting The Bard himself, it was all terrific fun.