THIS concert performance by Eboracum Baroque of Purcell’s King Arthur was a real treat.

Numbering only a dozen, the instrumentalists displayed lively interplay, precise intonation, and clear, incisive articulation. Everything was energetic, authoritative and consistently idiomatic right from the start.

There were only three or four brief moments when they seemed at cross-purposes with their spirited conductor, Chris Parsons. The vocal group of only nine singers sounded in the choruses like a much larger choir. The blending of parts, both of the singers with each other, and the balance between singers and orchestra, was impeccable.

All the vocalists were good enough to take the solo roles between them. Highlights included Charlie Murray’s Cold Genius solo, Lottie Bowden’s mellifluous soprano, and a convincingly rowdy, drunken male vocal quartet in Your Hay It Is Mow’d.

The uproarious, comic success of this latter number suggested that the group have untapped dramatic skills: the rest of the action was purposely left to the imagination. The famous song, Fairest Isle, sung near the end by Naomi Sturges, did not disappoint.

Rather than being omitted altogether, which can render the musical sequence incoherent, Dryden’s extensive spoken dialogue was replaced with an entertaining potted narrative by Terry Deary, author of Horrible Histories. He brought his mischievous, family-friendly irreverence to proceedings.

The evening, good value throughout, warranted a far larger audience. Eboracum Baroque describe themselves as instrumentalists and singers at the start of their careers: on this showing, they are on the right road.