One of the cultural joys of Edinburgh is the wonderful free concerts given by Edinburgh University Music School every Tuesday and Friday in term time. A typically lovely welcome could be found at this Friday lunchtime concert in the beautiful setting of the Playfair Library Hall.

The concert is given by mezzo-soprano Anne Desler who is on the staff of the music school as Director of Performance. She is accompanied very sensitively on the harpsichord by Edinburgh legend John Kitchen. Her programme, entitled Of Ghosts and Monsters, uses pieces from baroque composers from the early 18th century, leading off with Handel’s Orlando and including composers Hasse, Broschi and Porpora.

Anne Desler is not only a fine singer but an academic scholar of this period, in particular of the work of the great castrato Farinelli, who Mark Rylance recently brought to the stage in London. She demonstrates this both vocally and dramatically in her performance, which compares very favourably with a much more famous mezzo who recently performed at the Edinburgh Festival. Desler has a rich warm voice with lots of colour and she brought her baroque monsters to life with great feeling and dramatic gestures.

She will be giving further recitals later in the series. Full details of all the concerts can be found on the website of Edinburgh University Music School.