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The Wiltshire Music centre opened its new season on Saturday with a glittering reception for 300 guests, a raft of high hopes and credits, a cunningly conceived 405-light sculpture in a refurbished foyer - and, the real meat of it all, a concert of Baroque music that must surely surpass anything previously staged there.

Clare Jack, the executive director, David Pratley, chairman, and the new, young, artistic director, James Slater, all paid fullsome tribute to supporters and donors who have made the changes possible.

The stunning light sculpture, by the locally based internationally-known Bruce Munro Studio, and one or two other subtle changes, have transformed the foyer.

One person who was watching all this with more than passing interest was Kieth Nimmo, the centre’s first artistic director since its opening in 1997, and who undoubtedly laid the foundations for what has become a major concert venue.

And the concert: A well-crafted programme highlighting the contrasting styles of the effervescent Vivaldi and the somewhat more dour J S Bach centred around the superb musicianship and virtuosity of possibly Britain’s finest period violinist, Rachel Podger.

Her direction of her own ensemble, the Brecon Baroque, is never over-stated nor intrusive. The consequence is a deft balance of her own assertive solo playing and the Brecon’s intuitive response.

The total lack of vibrato in Baroque playing, and the ensemble’s use of traditional gut strings, brought a purity of sound enhanced by the crisp acoustic of the concert hall.

But for a violin string to break on the very last chord of the evening must surely be a portent of a good-luck season for the centre.