FEW people in a sell-out audience – how wonderful to see that at the Wiltshire Music Centre on Friday – will have heard two of the six Brandenburg Concertos played more convincingly and fewer still will have heard the final one played at such a pace. It was truly eye-watering.

Regular leader Alison Bury stepped back somewhat for her co-leader, Margaret Faultless, to take the helm and with these two peerless Baroque experts spearing the Bach through its myriad of textures the effect was awe-inspiring: Grace, Space and Pace indeed.

But the major fascination of this captivating evening was the violoncello da Spalla played by the evening’s director, Sigiswald Kuijken, the Brussels-born disciple of early music.

The instrument, in simple terms, is some way twixt viola and cello in size, played guitar-like across the chest but bowed. It has a honeyed tone, truthfully like no other instrument; not particularly penetrative, and after hearing it at this evening’s concert it is not difficult to see why it eventually fell out of favour. And that is in spite of the undoubted virtuosity of Kuijken.

Amid so many Baroque gems one that glistened brightly was the lyrical Sonata in D Minor, La Folia, by Vivaldi with its fulsome violin interplay.