SATURDAY may have brought cold and miserable weather to Dorset, but Weymouth Choral Society’s concert brought warmth and joy to all who came along to St John’s Church to hear a wonderful programme of Viennese music.

The evening started with a stirring chorus of Mozart’s Ave Verum. This was followed by his Laudate Dominum, showcasing the rich tones of soprano soloist Eleanor Riley. From sacred to operatic, cellist Hannah McFarlane delighted the audience with Danzi’s Variations on a theme from Don Giovanni. At times quirky and light-hearted, this composition was aptly supported by Louise Dukes on piano, bringing her talented and sensitive accompaniment to the fore.

Tenor soloist Bruce Vyner delighted the audience with Schubert’s Ave Maria and this was followed by Schubert’s Mass in G, composed in less than a week in March 1815 when Schubert was just 18 years old. The highlight for me was the exhilarating Credo exhaling sheer energy with tidal undercurrent.

The second half opened with The Heavens are Telling, from Haydn’s ‘The Creation’. Weymouth Choral was at its best and there were lovely solos from Birgitta Read (soprano), Eric Groom (tenor) and Rod Parsons (bass). A more light-hearted programme followed with many Viennese favourites including music from Offenbach and Strauss. Mozart’s Soave sia il vento from Cosi fan Tutte was sung by all three leading soloists, Eleanor Riley (soprano), Amanda King (alto) and Bruce Vyner (tenor) with great finesse.

Hannah McFarlane returned centre stage with her staggeringly brilliant performance of Paganini’s Variations on One String which met with great applause. Musical numbers from Die Fledermaus by Strauss and Lehar’s Merry Widow left the audience swaying to waltz time beat, and demanding an encore at the end of this uplifting and highly entertaining evening of Viennese music.