PORTLAND — Spring is a universal fever, as evidenced by Renaissance Voices on Saturday night at Williston-Immanuel Baptist Church. The a cappella choir, under the direction of Harold Stover, sang songs of the season from England, the United States, Germany, China and Poland, nearly all of them having to do with a young man’s fancy.

The quality of the music, whether an arrangement of folk song or more sophisticated offerings by Brahms or Ralph Vaughan Williams, was universally high, and the performances equally good. The relatively short program contained a number of highly polished gems, ranging from about 400 A.D. to the present.

One of the more unusual offerings was a lively Duma, in Polish, from the 16th century. Most Duma relate important events, such as battles, as a form of oral history. This one also described a battle, but in such unusual terms that it might recount the victory of Cupid’s arrows rather than the more lethal variety.

The composed ballads are more attractive to the modern ear than the more “authentic” ones that might have been transcribed by an ethnomusicologist.

For example, the three songs that opened the concert included the well-known “Sumer is icumen in,” and “Bryd one brere” sung in Chaucer’s middle English of the 13th century. The final one was an imitation by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) titled “Linden Lea,” which sounded even better than the real thing.

The two Chinese folk songs, arranged by Chen Yi, were gorgeous and had a certain Chinese flavor to the Western ear, but I would be willing to bet that they were more composed than transcribed.

The same was true of the set of three English folk songs: “The dark-eyed sailor,” “The spring time of the year,” and “Just as the tide was flowing,” arranged (he said) by Ralph Vaughan Williams.

The technique was taken to even greater heights by Brahms, in his arrangements of five German folk songs, of a musical and literary sophistication unknown outside of Berlin and Vienna. They were as beautiful, however, as his “Liebesleider” Waltzes.

If any further evidence were needed, Stover’s own arrangement of the American song “Go in and out the window” turns a catchy piece of nonsense verse into a respectable canon, without losing its liveliness.

The program concluded with an encore of “Greensleeves,” which has survived, relatively unscathed, since Shakespeare’s time.

The Folk Song Suite concert will be repeated on June 3 at 6:30 p.m. in the Fifth Maine Regiment Museum, Peaks Island.

Christopher Hyde’s Classical Beat column appears in the Maine Sunday Telegram. He can be reached at: [email protected]