Just five months after their last appearance at the Holywell, the Oxford Trobadors made a welcome return and once again enchanted with their songs and instrumental pieces inspired by the Occitan language of the 12th- and 13th-century troubadours. A mixture of Italian, Spanish and Portuguese, the language is still alive in southern France and parts of Italy and Catalonia, and — in case you were wondering about the unusual spelling — ‘trobador’ is the Occitan word for ‘troubadour’.

The music is irresistible; it is music to relax to, sway to and tap your feet to, especially when it is performed as well as it was here. The outstanding performer of the group was tenor Ray Noble, whose mellow voice was pure joy to listen to, whether delivering the tender Pyranees lullaby Nadau at Baptista (Christmas for Baptiste) or the more vibrant Se canta (It’s singing) and Los de qui cau (Those who must). For the latter two he was joined by brother Denis and the rest of the group, and between them they produced a rich and stirring sound.

There were also strong vocals from Denis Noble in songs such as Arron d’Aimar (After Love), in which he was ably accompanied by guitarist Bryan Vaughan, and L’aiga de la Dordonha (Waters of the Dordogne), a lively number that involved the rest of the group and brought the first half to a memorable finish.

Also impressive were percussionist Keith Fairbairn and flautist/recorder player Chris Britton, and their set of instrumental numbers that opened the second half was by turns moving and exciting, with both showing their exceptional versatility by playing a range of instruments. The wonderful Immortela (The Edelweiss) — with the audience joining in the chorus — brought the evening to a rousing conclusion, with a repeat performance of L’aiga de la