A NEW chamber music series, named after Hans Hess and promoted by the Friends of York Art Gallery, got off to an auspicious start with this lunchtime recital by the Italian guitarist Federico Pendenza. Falla, Giuliani and Turina loomed large in his programme, but he included some rarities and a world premiere.

The meeting-room at York Medical Society is both comfortable and intimate, ideal for small-scale music-making: it suited Pendenza’s restrained style. He warmed up with Poulenc’s only guitar piece, Sarabande, and Falla’s touching tribute to Debussy, Homenaje, balancing it with a lively dance from his Three-Cornered Hat.

Johann Kaspar Mertz’s wide-ranging Élégie was a revelation, a Giuliani sonata not quite so persuasive. Francesco Del Nero’s new Essenziale was certainly provocative and full of surprises, though spasmodic, with percussive thrumming on the woodwork. Turina’s flamenco-inflected Sevillana, as finale, made the perfect antidote.