As Edward Gardner noted in his introduction to the London Philharmonic Orchestra's concert on the evening of King Charles III's coronation, the National Anthem will have been playing across the country throughout the day and his own tribute to the occasion was rather more unique. Michael Tippett's Suite for the Birthday of Prince Charles is a charming dainty of a work which is rarely performed, commissioned by the BBC in the absence of their preferred pick, Benjamin Britten. For a monarch known for his fondness for the arts, it felt apt to programme a work written to celebrate the King's birth and the composition itself, lasting less than 20 minutes, is an ideal concert antipasto.

Alina Ibragimova, Edward Gardner and the London Philharmonic Orchestra
© London Philharmonic Orchestra

The suite, in five movements, incorporates hymns, folk music and existing music from the composer's own work; particular humour can be derived from the fourth, Carol, a play on Charles'  name. Gardner, who has a known affection and affinity for Tippett's oeuvre, made a convincing case, the pacing delicate in the third movement and a glorious undulating to the violins in the fourth. A bright fanfare, light and optimistic, opened the first movement, the strings throbbing with sugared vivacity, but the highlight was the fifth, the folksy elements dancing across the stage.

We had originally been due to hear Bartok's First Violin Concerto, but instead Alina Ibragimova delivered Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor. It is doubtful that there was much dismay among the audience, for Ibragimova gave a regal performance, which balanced intimacy with almost nonchalant virtuosity. The famous opening to the Allegro can occasionally be played with a certain melancholy mood; Ibragimova's was lighter, more playful. Her sound was not huge, but perfectly audible and in complete balance with Garder's approach, with whom she displayed visible and constant communication throughout the performance. 

Tonally, her sound was consistently sweet and honeyed, even as she dispatched the cadenza with surgical – yet far from clinical – precision. Ibragimova came to the verge of losing momentum in the Andante, but regained impetus for a fiery Allegretto, backed by the lightest of woodwind playing, her finale delivered with verve. No encore was given; a shame, as there seemed a real hunger in the audience after Ibragimova's energetic performance.

Edward Gardner, soloists, London Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra
© London Philharmonic Orchestra

For those who hadn't heard enough of the organ during the coronation, the Glagolitic Mass gave a generous second helping. Gardner has form with Janáček's choral beast, having recorded it with his other band, the Bergen Philharmonic back in his early days there, and one gets a feeling that it's a work with which he has become deeply comfortable. Gardner drew a glow, a sense of warmth and joy, from the LPO and the London Philharmonic Choir in a spacious, full-bodied reading of the score. Sara Jakubiak's cavernous voice, velvety and unforced, rose easily across the extensive music Janacek gives to the soprano. The bass role, by comparison, is minimal, but Matthew Rose's sonorous voice made the most of it at the end of the Vĕruju, as did mezzo Madeleine Shaw in her own brief appearance. Toby Spence's bright-toned tenor, clean and clear at the top, was slightly dominated by the scale of the orchestral and choral forces behind him, though one felt a strong sense of the text in his singing.