Three hundred years have certainly seen some changes at the Three Choirs Festival.
What began as annual meetings of the cathedral choirs of Gloucester, Hereford and Worcester, coming together to perform two days of sacred music, has developed over the centuries into a week-long jamboree which can now encompass all genres.
Monday's programme might have had some traditionalists of not so long ago spinning in their graves, devoted as it was to music of a decidedly erotic nature drawn from the story of Tristan and Isolde, and beginning in fact with the Prelude and Liebestod from Wagner's eponymous opera.
Conductor Jac van Steen drew playing of lustrous richness and depth of tone from a seamless Philharmonia (such plangent cellos!) and soprano Alwyn Mellor, who cut her Wagnerian teeth at Longborough Festival Opera.
She was already well-immersed into the role of Isolde even before she began singing herself to a blessed death, soaring over the orchestra, textual nuances subtle, and her pose gradually relaxing into stillness as the orchestra concluded.
Continuing the love-death theme is Messiaen's vast Turangalîla-Symphonie, of whose ten movements many are decidedly sexy, and which encourages a huge orchestra to whoop exuberantly, pulsate with intoxicating jazzy rhythms and murmur in sated sleepfulness.
Naturally a huge percussion section plays a vital part, squeezed in all higgledy-piggledy on this cramped Hereford Cathedral stage.
Steven Osborne brought more delicacy and shaping to the thumping, Petrushka-like piano-writing than we often hear, and Valerie Hartmann-Claverlie's rendering (without music!) of the extra-terrestial Ondes Martenot part was an absolute joy, swooping, popping and gurgling with more personality and presence than I have ever heard.
Malcolm Topham's brilliantly prepared CCTV coverage allowed us to admire Claverlie's dignified artistry at closed quarters, as well as homing in on the rest of the brilliant orchestra and Jac van Steen himself - an experienced, engaging and totally committed conductor whom I urgently suggest the CBSO consider appointing to hold the fort until all the post-Andris Nelsons dust has settled.