THE idea of dragging yourself out of the stunning, sun-drenched gardens at Glyndebourne to go and sit in a darkened room seemed absurdly contrary.

However, as soon as you stepped down into the cool and spacious wooden auditorium you realised you were about to experience something special. Vox Luminis, a Belgian ensemble established in 2004, focus on music from the 16th to 18th centuries, were presenting a trio of religious, choral works from Bach, Scarlatti and Handel.

This was their first time at Glyndebourne, and, as we were charmingly told in a pre-encore speech, the idea of picnicking at a concert was also new to them. I also suspect this was many of the audience’s first time at Glyndebourne and it was wonderful to see people enjoying the glorious experience. While we sat, slightly stupefied by the sunshine, the opening Jesu, meine Freude was soothing to the point of being soporific.

Ten voices, including the artistic director Lionel Meunier, worked seamlessly together, presenting a powerful sound far greater than their small numbers would suggest was possible.

The finale of Handel’s Dixit Dominus was the absolute joy of the evening, with its tidal wave of voices running up and down the scales and dazzling crescendos. The ten voices were joined by ten string instruments, an addition that added depth and density and left us breathless and giddy.

Emily Angus