Festival Director Jane Anthony made a brief appearance before this concert, reminding the audience that it was dedicated to the memory of Lord Harewood, who died earlier this year. He had been a staunch supporter of Leeds Lieder+, with a great gift for spotting and developing young singers. The young performers on this occasion can count themselves as spotted and reasonably well-developed, and all of them qualify for Yorkshire passports. Mezzo soprano Charlotte Tetley began with Siete Canciones Populaires from Manuel De Falla, which were delivered with a fine sense of the songs’ emotional depth. She created the impression that there was a dancer inside her yearning to get out, especially during Jota and more so in Polo, as she emitted Andalusian sighs – ¡Ay! ¡Guardo una pena en mi pecho! (I have a pain deep in my heart!) – to great effect. David Barnard’s accompaniment was faultless.

Tetley appeared later in the concert in a new work by Bryn Harrison entitled Five Distances, which was an exercise in contemplation. I saw a landscape in watercolours, impressionist I think, or something by Turner. Generally romantic anyway. The work was commissioned from Harrison (who studied at the City of Leeds College of Music and who is Head of Composition at Huddersfield University) for Leeds Lieder+ so this was its world premiere. Harrison is fascinated by the painting of Bridget Riley, writing that her curve-drawing techniques, which he once spent some time practising himself, led him to compose Six Symmetries for a large ensemble in 2004. Five Distances did have a hypnotic effect related to that of an Op-Art painting, and it was similarly straightforward, with its words reminiscent of those intoned by the leader of some therapeutic session as the course-members relax with closed eyes: “Circular path/ Sense of return/ High mountain ridge/ Clouds seen below/ What can be felt?/ Closer than before/ Moment follows movement/ Passage of time”. All the same, it was my privilege as a member of the audience to see Turner, which is perhaps close to what Harrison intended here. Tetley’s simple intensity made the piece...vibrant.

Soprano Deborah Norman has a grand, vibrato voice which could easily dominate an auditorium far larger than the one in the Leeds College of Music. I am waiting to hear her sing Puccini. In this concert she began with Richard Strauss, and was particularly impressive in Befreit (Released), a setting of a poem by Richard Dehmel, in which she dealt with key changes and climaxes apparently effortlessly, finishing her first session with Zueignung (Dedication), differentiating well between each subtly changing verse and the next.

The little-known composer Charles T Griffes was given an outing in this concert, with Three Poems by Fiona McLeod, which were really written in the late nineteenth century under a female pseudonym by a William Sharp. I was not very taken by the lyrics (“The dark rose of thy mouth/ Draw nigher, draw nigher!”) which sound like bad translations from German – there are much better Celtic revivalists - but interested in what seems to be a fine composer I had never come across before, who along with many poets has faded into the distance.

It was fitting that the concert had a schmaltzy ending. It was a lightening-up, because although schmaltz might not always be a food packed with the kind of things demanded by a stern nutritionist, it is usually attractive and popular. So Norman and Tetley teamed up for some of Ivor Novello’s finest offerings – including a terrific Fly Home Little Heart and a wonderful We’ll Gather Lilacs. Heartwarming! The audience loved every morsel.