You wouldn't normally expect well-worn Mozart - the Clarinet Concerto and Requiem - to fill Symphony Hall.
But this is the much-hyped 250th anniversary of his birth, and Sir Neville Marriner and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields are legendary performers, so a capacity crowd dutifully paid homage.
Andrew Marriner, the concerto soloist, adopted a no-frills approach and let the music speak for itself, always a wise option with a composer who has so much to say. The result was a brushed velvet reading, nicely pointed and delicately shaded in the magical minor-key passages, although opportunities for varied tone and articulation in the Rondo went largely unexplored.
The audience, however, seized many chances to punctuate Marriner's playing with assorted coughs and cackles, often at the quietest moments. Some people have no control - or manners.
Sir Neville's account of the Requiem brooked no interruptions. This was a marvellously etched, musicianly performance, every tempo wisely judged, every detail know-ingly acknowledged and, most important of all, every expressive nuance observed.
It was also extremely well played and sung, by a fine orchestra (subtly controlled trombones a special delight), excellent soloists (bass Daniel Borowski's Tuba mirum was the star moment) and a super choir.
The ASMF Chorus gave light and meaning to Mozart's counterpoint (the semiquaver runs in the Kyrie were thrillingly precise) and produced some wonderful tonal contrasts, from the powerful outbursts of Rex tremendae to the heart-wrenching Agnus Dei.
Best of all, though short-lived, were the sotto voce phrases for sopranos and altos in Confutatis meledictis, exquisitely beautiful and as sweetly restrained as a semichorus. Absolute bliss.
David Hart ..SUPL: