Exuberance and eloquence were the hallmarks of the Oxford Chamber Orchestra's concert on Friday. This was a well-balanced programme, which seemed to run through the whole gamut of emotions, from the solemnity and wit of Mozart's Magic Flute overture, to the haunting, evocative sounds of Silbelius's En Saga and the tragic overtones of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6, the Pathétique. Under the meticulous and articulate direction of conductor Jonathan Williams, these varying emotions were conveyed with exceptional clarity.

This orchestra is composed of undergraduates, graduates and local amateur musicians, and they produce a cohesive sound, while radiating assurance and maturity. The Mozart was dealt with in glowing style, but En Saga presented more of a challenge, both for the players and the audience. Despite there being detailed programme notes, Williams very helpfully talked us through the piece first, while getting the orchestra to demonstrate some of the 'signposts' to listen out for. This undoubtedly added to the appreciation of this atmospheric piece, which Sibelius claimed represented "a state of mind" after he had "undergone several painful experiences". The pervading atmosphere of mystery and expectancy was brilliantly realised, and the solos for oboe, clarinet and viola quite ravishing.

If question marks hang over the inspiration for En Saga, then mystery and conspiracy theories hang over Tchaikovsky's final symphony, which premiered only ten days before his death. Was this, as has been suggested, the composer's suicide note? Or was his death mere coincidence? Whatever the truth, one thing is certain - this is a symphony of epic proportions, demanding great stamina from the players. They didn't disappoint; they kept up the momentum to the last, their delivery utterly enthralling.

Look out for the Oxford Chamber Orchestra's next concert, Music from the Movies, at the Sheldonian on May 26.