Crouch End Festival Chorus has been having a busy time of it lately.

In the summer there was yet another appearance at the BBC Proms, followed by two sell-out concerts at Wembley Arena celebrating the music of Studio Ghibli.

Now they are back on home turf at Alexandra Palace's gloriously atmospheric Victorian theatre with a sublime performance of Claudio Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610.

It's a piece that has grown to rival Handel’s Messiah as the most popular choral work from the Baroque period. Its contrasts of grandeur and intimacy are captivating, and use of space – distanced echo singing and the placement of singers – evokes a sense of drama and wonder.Ham & High: The chorus performed with soloists and The English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble at Alexandra PalaceThe chorus performed with soloists and The English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble at Alexandra Palace (Image: David Winskill)

Under the baton of director of music David Temple, the choir, six soloists, and The English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble truly delivered.

The concert opened with Chiara Margarita Cozzolani’s rarely heard Deus in adiutorium. The mist that had enveloped Alexandra Palace was soon forgotten as a tenor, placed high in the gallery, called on God for delivery. The choir answered, beautifully, articulating Cozzolani’s Deus in adiutorium.

Using the same text as the opening to Monteverdi’s Vespers, her work is more understated, equally sublime but feels fresh and new.

As the Chorus launched into Monteverdi’s Domine, they produced a gloriously uplifting wall of insistent, celebratory voices, eagerly dancing with the perfection of the Ensemble’s woodwind, string and brass.

Temple, addressed the audience, reflecting on the terrible events of the previous two weeks, and urged that we celebrate what humanity does best: making and listening to music.

The text of the Vespers draws heavily from the Old Testament and Monteverdi’s use of tenors throughout reminded us of the cantors and muezzins calling their congregations to prayer.

After the sung fireworks of the Dixit Dominus came the extraordinary contrast of the moving duet of Nicholas Mulroy (an outstanding tenor, excellently paired with Daniel Norman) and the plaintive theorbo of Lynda Sayce in the Concerto: Nigra sum.

The perfectly matched sopranos (Amelia Berridge and Jessica Cale) triumphed in the Laudate pueri supported by the Chorus, now animated and totally enmeshed with this wonderful music.

Ally Pally Theatre is a great venue for the chorus but it is not a church: the superb and haunting Duo Seraphim was not the only passage that would have benefitted from the light echo of such a space.

But the chorus was simply sensational: the concentration and craft they brought to the work delivered a breath-taking, immersive and uplifting evening.