Any single work on offer in Sunday's concert from Birmingham Contemporary Music Group would have made me glad I'd crossed the road to hear it - not just for the quality of the music, but also for the sheer skill of these committed players.
Thomas Ades was the man in charge, brilliant whether as composer, conductor, or as pianist directing from the keyboard. The only downside was his smart-arsed anagrammatic titling of movements in his fetching Living Toys, already a BCMG showcase both live and on CD - and perhaps the Wagner references as the end approached might have been mentioned in the programme-notes.
Ades had begun the evening as well, his Court Studies from "The Tempest" busy and theatrical, crystalline in their lyricism.
More Tempest allusions came with the sustained intensity of Poul Ruders' ABYSM, dramatic and atmospheric, and fascinating in its deployment of textures and colours as structural devices.
But the bulk of the evening belonged to Gerald Barry, whose compositions always speak with alertness and engagement. His Lisbon, a miniature tone-poem describing the Portuguese capital, was full of episodic delights, though it got stuck in a mechanistic rut (Malcolm Wilson's heroic pianism to the fore) halfway through, and we could have done without the pianist doodlings which wouldn't have been out of place in yet another Jane Austen costune drama. And his Beethoven, premiered here as BCMG's latest "Sound Investment" commission, made a huge impact, with Stephen Richardson as the bass soloist.
This is a score of clarity and fastidiousness, though it sinks into allusiveness and eventual banality, when Beethoven's closing words in his letter to his unidentified "Immortal Beloved" are muttered against the slow unfolding of Adeste Fideles - Beethoven signs off "faithful".