The eye can draw as much pleasure from an exquisite Nicholas Hilliard Tudor miniature portrait as it can from one of J.M.W. Turner’s majestic seascapes, and so it is with the ear when it comes to music, as the latest tour by the Australian Haydn Ensemble shows.

It features chamber arrangements of two Beethoven orchestral masterpieces, the Egmont Overture and the Seventh Symphony, both made by Italians in Beethoven’s lifetime and probably not heard performed for more than 200 years.

Australian Haydn Ensemble: Skye McIntosh, Melissa Farrow and Matthew Greco. Photo © Oliver Miller

Not much is known about Giralmo Masi, but his arrangement of the Egmont for flute, two violins, viola, cello and double bass shows that he knew what he was doing. Maybe the dramatic impact of an 84-strong orchestra complete with four horns was somewhat diminished, with Melissa Farrow’s lone flute filling in for entire woodwind and brass sections, but the playing by the sextet led by Artistic Director Skye McIntosh was heroic indeed.

McIntosh’s small forces were equally well deployed in the second half for the main work on the...