SALISBURY Baroque just gets better and better.

This shone through in the summer concert held in St Thomas’s Church on Sunday.

The ensemble, a group of local amateur and professional musicians, played a wide selection of music from Italy, Germany and England.

Several of the pieces are well known from frequent performances on the radio, television and in the concert hall.

Of course, the risk of playing such familiar pieces is that the freshness coming from novelty is lost. Not so with Salisbury Baroque.

From the initial Concerto Grosso Op 6 No 5 by GF Handel, the vitality and sheer enjoyment of the pieces by all the performers was infectious.

Jean Paterson led from the front. With the Concerto for Oboe and Violin by JS Bach, she paired with Lysander Tennant for a memorable performance of this unforgiving music.

There was much to be appreciated in Pachelbel’s Canon in D: the clarity of the individual lines, so clear within the acoustic setting of the church, added novel perspectives to this piece.

From Purcell’s London (Rondo from Abdelazer) across the Alps to Venice, the audience was treated to more baroque gems. Tennant’s playing of the Albinoni Concerto Op 9 No 2 demonstrated the beautiful and unique quality of the baroque oboe, particularly in the second movement. An electrical storm at a terrific tempo marked Vivaldi’s Summer from The Four Seasons and Jean Paterson’s virtuosity steered the concert to an exhilarating conclusion.

This was a concert to be remembered. David Davies’ informative and excellent programme notes provide a worthy souvenir.

It showed that baroque music played on period instruments can appeal across the generations as both this father and son agree.

Angus and Alasdair Menzies