OLD favourites are – old favourites.

Barry Wordsworth, beloved conductor laureate, former music director of the Brighton Philharmonic for over 25 years, and Felix Mendelssohn, shining light of Victorian composition in perpetuity, combined to delight in a concert dubbed The European Connection.

Fingals Cave may be familiar but Wordsworth summoned forth a fresh liveliness to the orchestra with carefully delineated dynamics and brisk pointing: live performances always provide the chance to appreciate individual players and here the horns in particular sounded clear and strong.

In contrast to the agitation of a Scottish seascape came the measured tones of Faure’s period pastiche Pavane with the beautiful long-breathed oboe melody beautifully played against the gentle string staccato. A powerfully plangent middle section is effective contrast.

Junyan Chen, soloist in the G major piano concerto of Ravel, is currently studying with Joanna MacGregor and it shows.

Like her dazzling teacher, Chen dominates the platform with personality, appearance and a powerful, confident technique.

The young Chinese virtuoso, already winner of fistfuls of international prizes, proved an astonishing interpreter of the jazz-themed, cross-handed, syncopated rhythms of Ravel, her fingers moving like lightning to command cascades and glissandi of notes with all the insouciance of Gershwin in a bar.

As if the technical difficulties of Ravel weren’t sufficient, Chen effortless tackled Dohnanyi’s Etude No 5 in an encore torrent of Lisztian keyboard fireworks – without the drama of broken strings flying from the piano.

Ravel next, in subtler, gentler form for The Mother Goose Suite, five short pieces illustrating children’s stories.

They began life as a piano duet but the orchestrated version allows different sections to shine: here,the woodwinds in particular gave a soft, impressionist colour.

Art for children, in words or music, is often more significant, its apparent simplicity allowing a depth that can be confounded by complex structure.

Barry Wordsworth allowed the music to speak, carefully coaxing a nuanced and precise account of the sweetly familiar sounds.

Mendelssohn and Wordsworth together again provided the finale with a rendering of the Italian symphony which demonstrated, if we’d forgotten, why, for all Mendelssohn’s sparkling accessibility, he is also a great composer.