Big is not necessarily beautiful, and a phalanx of 160-plus orchestral musicians thronging a huge performing area might strike fear into any purist's heart.
And yet Tuesday's pre-Prom concert at Malvern from the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain was another example of how these boundlessly talented youngsters can be coached to listen to their dozens of colleagues, balance their tone accordingly, and play with a unanimity of articulation which brings the experience very close to chamber-music.
That was certainly the case when they performed Mahler's Symphony no.8 under Sir Simon Rattle three years ago at Symphony Hall, and here they displayed a similar maturity of approach as they gave an all-English programme under the wise and unobtrusive baton of Tadaaki Otaka.
Specially written as a showcase for the orchestra, Paul Patterson's Orchestra on Parade! lived up to its title, every wind section standing jazz-band style to deliver its contribution, cellos even essaying a spike-twirling twizzle. And all these musicians tackled the music's Portsmouth Point- like cutting rhythms with exhilarating crispness.
To these qualities were added delicacy and sinuousness for a tremendous account of the Ritual Dances from Tippett's opera The Midsummer Marriage. Otaka sculpted a beautifully clear reading of this wonderful score, the four harps and lithe, leaping strings complementing dazzling woodwind luminosity and brass incisiveness.
Finally, Elgar's First Symphony drew from the players a singleminded generosity of response as they genuinely fulfilled the composer's vision of a "great charity and massive hope for the future".
All pages of the conductor's score remained unturned - Otaka knows this music so well, and was quietly busy drawing its riches out of his willing young charges.