Performances from John Wilson and his orchestra are so fluent, so exuberant, that it's easy to overlook the painstaking effort that has gone into the maestro's devoted reconstruction of film scores that had all been destroyed by back-office philistines.
Mid-century Hollywood boasted some of the greatest orchestrators ever known, and Wilson's work is invaluable in restoring their achievements to modern listeners. He is also one of the most elegant conductors around, with a platform manner which recalls Sir Malcolm Sargent without the autocracy. And where Sargent enjoyed himself conducting Gilbert and Sullivan, Wilson enjoys himself conducting music from musicals and films.
Thursday's programme for a packed, enthusiastic Symphony Hall was all-Gershwin as transcribed for Hollywood. Here was glitz and glamour, as well as tenderness expressed by vocalists Louise Dearman, sassy and deft of articulation, and Matthew Ford, his tones warmly embracing, and with the uncanny ability to sound like Gene Kelly when he sang "'S Wonderful".
To me there was only one dud in the menu, the New York Rhapsody from the film Delicious, Ian Buckle the sparkling piano soloist, but a piece so bitty that it could have been sliced at any moment and still make no difference.
For the rest, everything was brilliant. Spectacular solos from every department of the orchestra, silky phrasing from the strings and razzmatazz from the brass, and all the time Wilson presiding with such a calm yet galvanising presence.
Programme-books for this kind of extragavanza are shamefully expensive, and full of advertising guff. Not this one, crammed with wonderfully nostalgic film posters, including photos of Ginger Rogers and Betty Grable to die for. Your eight quid will never have been better spent.