Violinist Christian Tetzlaff has played the Beethoven Concerto well over 200 times, and the music is so ingrained under his fingers that technical considerations can now yield second place to his continuing quest to dig into the heart of this masterpiece.
To do that, as he told me after his performance on Thursday afternoon, you need trust in the orchestra and conductor, and that was certainly apparent with the CBSO under the questing, generous conducting of Olari Elts.
Tetzlaff's self-communing spontaneity of response didn't always project successfully to the audience, with phrases occasionally beginning at such a minimum dynamic level that they only registered once they had started.
But his grip on this wonderful work stimulated the imagination, martial elements (Peter Hill's hard-sticked timpani a sensitive foil) combining with folky or hymn-like aspects. It took a long time to warm to this interpretation, but it brought its own rewards.
Earlier we were brought rare works by Beethoven's two great Viennese predecessors: Mozart's Idomeneo ballet music proved intriguing in its scoring, brightly delivered under Elt's baton, and revealing in its thematic links with the powerful opera itself.
And Haydn's Symphony no.86 (many years ago recorded by the CBSO under Simon Rattle) was brisk and affectionate, subtle, well-nuanced, and sparkling with glorious woodwind.