From a programme which promised so much, it's ironic that the most satisfying item was the one serving as a pipe-opener, but here coming up fresh and exhilarating.
Borodin's evocative Polovtsian Dances conjured all their accustomed magic under Alpesh Chauhan's balletic (not for nothing has he worked closely with Andris Nelsons) conducting, sculpting vibrant colours from the CBSO, and knowing when not to over-conduct. If the opening was paced a little hectically, the players coped well.
Then came the much-awaited UK premiere of Osvaldo Golijov's Azul for cello and orchestra, ten years after it came into the world in Tanglewood, Massachusetts -- a long delay. And it's understandable why, with the work's extravagant percussion contingent and its detailed demands concerning orchestral layout.
None of which were observed here, despite the many paragraphs devoted to it in Boosey and Hawkes' unhelpful programme-note, which also failed to explain the meaning of the title.
Eduardo Vassallo was the committed, hard-working soloist, crossing a million miles across his strings, his cello singing a song which found its deliverance in a wonderful extended cadenza with a group of continuo percussionists placed close by (the only concession to the layout stipulations).
But the whole effect was one of remembering relaxing baths with various nature-sounds playing in the background. All we needed was a bottle of Radox.
There was another unhelpful programme-note to tell us about Shostakovich's Fifteenth Symphony, his last, and one which deals with the death of heroes, including, ultimately, himself. It omitted any reference to the important quotation from Tristan and Isolde, nor to the fact that the ticking, freezing percussion at the end were originally heard in the Fourth Symphony which the composer suppressed in fear of his life.
And that percussion coda was taken a notch too fast, garbling its robotic insistency. Before this Chauhan had presided over a perceptively ironic view of this last major work of Shostakovich. Instrumental solos were tellingly delivered, not least the biting acerbity of concertmaster Zoe Beyer's violin. I do hope she's in the frame for the seat left vacant by the much-loved Laurence Jackson.