One swallow doesn't make a summer, but a Belfast musical summer would not be complete without the annual visit from the talented young Chamber Philharmonia ensemble from Cologne, who are currently on their Irish tour.
St George's Church was the elegant setting on Saturday for a wide-ranging programme of music by Vivaldi, Mozart, Bach, Tchaikovsky, Boccherini and Vittorio Monti.
The concert-master, Sergey Didorenko, set the tone with a confident performance of Vivaldi's Winter from The Four Seasons, and Adam Solta was given a warm reception as the soloist in the Vivaldi's Concerto in D Major for guitar. Equally impressive was cellist Christoph John who maintained a rich tone throughout Tchaikovsky's Andante Cantabile.
The Chamber Philharmonia Cologne showcased their collective and individual talents well in Mozart's Salburg Symphony, and also in Bach's Concerto No 2 in E Major, just after the interval.
This ensemble plays not only the best of the familiar classical repertoire but also those pieces which are familiar but not instantly recognisable, as they did with Boccherini's Fandango, during which Adam Solta againsent pulses racing with his performance on guitar, and ultimately Monti's lively Czardas, with concert-master Didorenko impressive as the soloist.