OK, so he will have prepared the rehearsals for the entire programme, but David Curtis had an easy time of it conducting his Orchestra of the Swan on Wednesday afternoon.
He was only on the podium for a couple of numbers: Handel's overture to his opera Julius Caesar, sprightly and clearly-articulated, and Stravinsky's neo-everything (baroque, classical, Viennese kitsch, you name it) Concerto in D, fluent and well-weighted, despite being one hospitalised viola short.
The rest of the programme, three Bach concertos, no less, was directed by soloist Tamsin Waley-Cohen, currently in her second spell as OOTS Associate Artist, and a charming violinist whose platform presence is totally devoted to the unfolding of the music in performance.
She began with the Concerto for Two Violins, joined by David Le Page in a partnership which could have stemmed from years of collaboration. Each nurturing their own violin section, they intertwined and dovetailed lines with buoyant dynamics, allowing each other to sing as emphasis swung back and forth. Their biting multiple-stopping in the headlong finale (which got faster as it went along, but no matter) was a consummate example of the character of their duetting.
And then, in a fine example of OOTS' co-operative ethos as heartwarming as chamber choir Ex Cathedra's, Le Page resumed his leader's chair while orchestral oboist Victoria Brawn stepped forward to join Waley-Cohen in Bach's remarkable Concerto for Violin and Oboe.
This proved another sympathetic partnership, violinist graciously melting into her tutti colleagues for the many prominent oboe passages, Brawn sweet-toned and shapely of phrasing, and always reminding us of her instrument's pastoral resonances. There were also some discreet but telling arabesques from uncredited harpsichordist David Ponsford.
Finally Tamsin Waley-Cohen took centre stage for the imposing E major Violin Concerto, the outer movements given with brightness, delicacy and exuberance, and the adagio's sad song delivered with such a stillness at its heart.