The first fingers of the wintry season came to Canterbury on Monday 8 November, and the Eden-Stell Guitar Duo’s Lunchtime Concert at University of Kent’s Gulbenkian Theatre was the perfect antidote to the chill.

The programme opened with Bach’s arrangement of Marcello’s Oboe Concerto in D, re-arranged by Chris Stell for guitar duet. This was a performance full of elegance and wit, with a sonorous exploration of the slow-moving harmonies in the second movement and some deft embellishments from Mark Eden. The last movement was dextrous and light-footed, and full of sparkle.

Timothy Bowers’ Fantasy on an Old English Melody, originally written for guitar quartet, is a sequence of variations on ‘The leaves be green,’ an old Tudor melody. The theme underwent a variety of contrasting transformations; picked out with delicate harmonics at the start, it moved through a brisk, Tudor-style section rich in false relations and jazz-infused harmonies, a lively 5/4 incarnation, before returning to a stately Tudor mood and closing with the opening filigree-struck harmonics.

Mark Eden also arranged two of Mompou’s Cancion y Danza, which showed great craft and careful attention to balancing between the players in its execution. The pieces move from lyrical melody to lively dance.

The duo ended in Spain, with Rodrigo’s Tonadilla. The toccata-like opening movement is full of fierce vitality, and full of Rodrigo’s trademark clashing semitones. The second movement, ‘Minuet,’ clothes a sinuous melodic line in rich added-note chords, in an accompaniment abounding in major seconds and sevenths, beautifully realised in performance. Its second section includes typical Spanish rasgueado strumming, The piece ends with a lively Spanish dance, taken at a devilish pace in which both players demonstrated some extremely nimble fretwork.

Overall, this was an understated yet dazzling display of craftsmanship from both guitarists, whose communication on-stage was reflected in their refined and sensitive ensemble. Warmly received by an enthusiastic audience, the fiery Spanish rhythms and Catalan melodies were a welcome respite – alas, too brief – from the onset of winter.