A splendid feast was on offer at Exeter College Chapel last Saturday; Bach’s glorious Magnificat, and Mozart’s wonderful Sinfonia Concertante. There is a temptation, with Bach’s Magnificat, to take the exuberant numbers too fast and the more thoughtful numbers too slowly. But, happily, Nicholas Mumby, conductor and founder of the Oxford Spezzati Soloists and Orchestra, avoided both pitfalls, achieving a well-balanced tempo that felt, at all times, exactly right. And that wasn’t the only thing that felt exactly right — clear diction, expressive phrasing and tonal purity were all in there too, resulting in a fresh and dynamic performance that was articulate and focused.

The opening Magnificat was suitably splendid, and there was plenty of fervour in some of the work’s most inspiring moments — such as Omnes generations (“All generations shall call me blessed"), Fecit potentiam (“He hath shewed strength") and, of course, the final, exultant Gloria Patri, delivered in appropriately jubilant style.

But there was some sensitive work here, too, notably from the soloists, who delivered their arias with warmth and integrity. Don Robson overlaid Quia fecit with suitable gravitas, while tenor Greg Tassell exhibited a splendid vibrancy of tone in Deposuit potentes, and blended well with alto Cathy Bell in Et misericordia. Rachael Johnson and Penny Grant, dividing the soprano solos between them, also made strong contributions, soaring effortlessly to the top notes and singing with great intensity.

After the interval came Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante, a bright, playful piece that shows Mozart at his most exuberant — an exuberance that was fully realised in this joyous and vigorous performance. Soloists Molly Bright (oboe), Charlotte Woolley (clarinet), Charlie Wilson (French horn) and Al Thomas (bassoon) were clearly relishing the composer’s humour and joie de vivre, while the orchestra provided solid accompaniment throughout.

This is an ensemble that we don’t seem to hear about as much as some of Oxford’s other choirs and orchestras, but certainly worth seeking out. For more information visit www.oxfordspezzati.com