Baroque music has long been a feature of the Oxford summer scene, and this year the Oxford Philomusica is contributing four concerts to the mix. For its opening outing, the orchestra was joined by New College Choir for an all-Vivaldi programme, topped by the composer’s well-known Gloria.

Getting off to a gritty, robust start in the Gloria, conductor Edward Higginbottom demonstrated that the choir is in fine, open-voiced, confident form: its trademark sense of attack and commitment to the music was much in evidence, as was its attention to diction.

Higginbottom was careful in his use of speeds and dynamics, too: if the big, joyous choruses lost out slightly by being projected into the Sheldonian’s rather dead acoustic, this was made up for by the choral and orchestral detail that was revealed in quieter passages.

Tim Watts’s rendering of the oboe solo in Domine Deus, for instance, came over tellingly as it interweaved with Esther Brazil’s soprano solo — this section always reminds me of a gondola moored up for the night and gently swaying in the water as the sun sets. In the Laudamus Te Brazil was teamed with treble Jonty Ward — it’s often said that girls’ and boys’ voices do not mix, but Higginbottom obtained a beautifully integrated sound. Clemmie Franks was well matched as the third, contralto, soloist.

Having gone for the better known of Vivaldi’s two Glorias, Higginbottom went for the perhaps lesser known of his two settings of Dixit Dominus. This was an immaculately judged performance of a multi-faceted work, and it showed how well the Philomusica plays for this conductor.

Surrounding the two choral works, Philomusica musicians eagerly seized chances to shine as soloists, as they played concertos for two trumpets (Joseph Atkins, Tom Rainer), violin (Natalia Lomeiko), and two oboes (Tim Watts, Rachel Ingleton). This concert should have left Vivaldi lovers well satisfied.