Music We’d Like to Hear, an annual series of concerts curated by the composers Markus Trunk, John Lely and Tim Parkinson, has reached its ninth year of sharing an eclectic, often esoteric selection of experimental music with its small but loyal following. As one of the few chances to be immersed in this strange, provoking, sometimes infuriating musical world outside of the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, these concerts deserve to be much better attended than they are.

The music of Swiss composer Jürg Frey has featured heavily in this year’s set of concerts. In addition to the pieces chosen by Tim Parkinson here, two relatively recent works for solo violin had been heard as part of a stunning recital by Mira Benjamin of the Montreal-based Bozzini Quartet the week before: WEN 3, in which a single double-stop is presented again and again, surrounded by the huge, gaping silences that make up the fabric of so much of this composer’s work; and A Memory of Perfection, a piece which utilises one of Frey’s favourite string techniques – an unstable, ghostly harmonic produced by gently pressing on the string a semitone above the place where a harmonic is already being made (the acoustic turbulence of which, Benjamin remarked afterwards, can be felt on the fingertips). In tonight’s performance of Two Pieces for cello and piano – written towards the beginning of Frey’s work list in the early 90s – the influence of Webern via Morton Feldman was more clearly apparent, though already this music seems to breathe even more slowly and deeply than in that of either of the other two composers. Only in the second piece was there any hint of a disturbance – the mumbling of a sleeper barely disturbed.

Feldman also influenced the concert’s opening work, Matteo Fargion’s 11 Notturni for solo piano. In it, rich and resonant tonal chords interrupted the cool, still, Feldman-inspired status quo like wild flowers sprouting up through a long-neglected floor mosaic. Parkinson found an utterly convincing way to articulate the work’s many contradictions, drawing out melodic and rhythmic echoes of Chopin and occasionally puncturing the piece’s smooth surface with gestures of unexpected ferocity and bite.

A Bach masterpiece was the inspiration and raw material for Christian Wollf’s Cello Suite Variation, though here the results were best when a healthy distance was kept from the orginal source. The second part – based on a Sarabande – worked best, not least as a result of Lukoszevieze’s intimate, inwardly projected playing and his incredibly sensitive control of tone colour.

Another work for solo cello, Julia Eckhardt’s speling#4 (“speling” meaning “scope” in Flemish), proved to be another perfect vehicle for showcasing Lukoszevieze’s musicality. From its almost inaudible beginnings through stratospheric, bleached-white descants and otherworldly triple stops which seemed somehow to totally engulf the space whilst being almost unbearably fragile, this was a totally compelling performance.

Whilst the concert was billed as a duo recital, Jonathan Marmor’s Cattle in the Woods required additional support. Scored for the unlikely combination of melodica, cello, two reed organs, pre-recorded synthesiser tones and an electric fan, this strange, hymn-like work progressed forwards, lurching from one squeezebox-sounding chord to the next, with an ungainly out-of-tune melody rising above it all. Whilst Marmor’s programme note stated that his use of chance procedures in creating the chord sequence and deciding which notes would be out of tune was an attempt to “help the listener hear common musical sounds in a new way”, in the end the lack of composerly control this created meant that, frustratingly, the huge potential inherent in the material and the wonderfully imaginative line-up was never really quite fulfilled.

In Luiz Henrique Yudo’s Five Palindromes much of the music was left, not up to chance, but to the performers; in each of gently rocking movements the very limited pitch content – oscillating between two notes – were not specified. The duo found some wonderful timbral and harmonic colours here and succeeded in giving each palindrome a very distinctive flavour. This was simple but strikingly beautiful music, a real joy to hear.

What a contrast between this and that evening’s late-night Prom: Ex Cathedra’s performance of Welt-Parlament from Stockhausen’s Mittwoch aus Licht. Just as St Mary at Hill, a beautiful gem of a Wren church hidden away in the city, seemed somehow the perfect venue for Music We’d Like to Hear, the vast arena that is the Royal Albert Hall seemed purpose-built for Stockhausen. While the singing was exceptional and the work contained moments of astonishing musical vision, far from eclipsing the muted, unassuming works of Frey and Yudo and the almost selfless performances of Parkinson and Lukoszevieze, experiencing Stockhausen’s audacious, visionary, co(s)mic drama made me appreciate those quiet murmurings in Eastcheap all the more.