Adventurous programming is what makes the Micklegate Singers one of the most exciting choirs anywhere.

Nicholas Carter, their conductor since 2000, continued that tradition on Saturday with a canny programme that bounced back and forth between the Renaissance and the present day.

His umbrella title, Autumn Landscapes, came from the evening’s most substantial work, an eponymous 1964 cycle of seven songs (Sügismaastikud) by Veljo Tormis, whose music is almost exclusively choral. It proved vivid, ragged clouds, whirling leaves, hostile winds, all leading to a burnished sunset. You didn’t need Estonian to get the picture.

The biggest surprise was a thoroughly engaging Ave Maria by the Basque composer Javier Busto, though its Amen may have been a little syrupy for some Anglo-Saxon palates.

Rivalling it was Vytautas Miskinis’s setting of the same prayer, its unexpected harmonies taking it pleasingly off the beaten track.

Gabriel Jackson’s sure-fire technique shone through in two motets, a luxuriant setting of Blake’s To Morning and an equally ecstatic Salve Regina, but Eric Whitacre’s murky textures, here in Water Night, began to pall.

The moderns were set off by the boisterous dance of Byrd’s Laetentur Coeli and the ultra-smooth lines of Clemens non Papa dabbling in the Song of Songs. The best of three Christmas motets by Peter Philips was the peaceful Ave Regina Coelorum, ideal preparation for Victoria’s sumptuous eight-voice Alma Redemptoris Mater, which rounded off a thoroughly satisfying evening.