I had not been planning on reviewing this concert, which closed this year's BRQ Vantaa Festival. The idea of a three hour Bach "meditation", people encouraged to come, go and eat during the proceedings, yoga mats provided, and the Bach "explored" by mixing it with Kurtág, various other modern pieces and free jazz improvisation all sounded a bit radical for me. Worth a try – after all, if push comes to shove and I get given one piece of music to take to my desert island, it would probably be the D minor partita – but all a bit too weird for a review.

St Lawrence Church, Vantaa © David Karlin
St Lawrence Church, Vantaa
© David Karlin
But I feel I have to, because the concert worked its magic on me in ways that I completely failed to expect. Including the free jazz and the yoga mats – and may I just point out that I'm a fan of all sorts of jazz but have generally loathed the free variety, and that I don't do yoga.

There were some fundamentals working here. Maya Homburger played the Bach sonatas and partitas quite superbly on Baroque violin. My favourite performances in the past have been the modern violin, romantic, slightly folk-dance infused variety: I've often found the strictly Baroque HIP versions a bit dry. Homburger blew me away with her commitment: when she went for a phrase, she mounted a vivacious attack on it, followed by exquisite care over the precise shape of the phrase. And she went for most of the phrases in the whole very long evening. It redefined my understanding of how you can get intensity out of a violin without using a big, romantic sound.

The second fundamental was the acoustic of St Lawrence's Church. I chose to sit up in the gallery, where the timbre of the violin was about as good as I've ever heard a violin sound, a seductive mixture of warmth and clarity. The double bass, played by Homburger's husband and long time duo partner Barry Guy, sounded just as good and, of course, the registers are so different that they didn't get in each other's way.

Having decided not to review the concert, I stopped following the programme pretty early on, and also went off to lie down on one of the yoga mats and close my eyes. I couldn't tell you which of the fill-in pieces were Kurtág, which were Cage, which were Guy's own compositions or improvisations (in all honesty, I don't know much Kurtág anyway). What I can say is that the way the pieces were assembled worked on me completely. I entered the sort of trance like state that when the familiarity of the Bach came, I was utterly spellbound. And I found Guy's bass playing simply joyful, as he used every trick in the jazz player's book to conjure different soundscapes from the instrument.

I left the concert two and a half hours in (it was getting late and it had been a long day), having reached a state of utter bliss. I'm told that it went on for another hour, including audience request encores. I cannot begin to imagine how Homburger has the stamina. And I now want to listen to some Kurtág.