In 37 years of Karlheinz Company concerts, none has managed the sheer chutzpah and zesty provocation of Sunday's From Dylan to Xenakis.
Director Eve de Castro-Robinson advised us to expect pervading intensity and high spirits, while the emphasis on the human voice and the physicality of performance immersed us in the very heart of the music.
Even if one is cynical about Bob Dylan now being a Creative Laureate of Auckland University, Michael Murray's brooding Masters of War nailed the ballad's anger of desperation at an effectively low-key simmer apart from one fierce outburst.
After it, the sculpted dissonance of Xenakis' Paille in the Wind, immaculately chiselled by cellist Edith Salzmann and pianist Kent Isomura, might have been from another universe.
Other instrumental offerings had Liam Wooding discovering the inner gamelan of John Cage's Suite for Toy Piano and John Coulter presenting his own Green, "playing" an adapted manuka branch, evoking the sonorities of didgeridoo and pukaea against a subtle electro-acoustic wash.
Eve de Castro-Robinson's ConunDRUMS gave us an athletic Sam Rich torn between duties at the percussion station and slashing brush-strokes on a giant canvas.
Within its 13 minutes, there were inveigling musical micro-journeys: cymbals shimmering into the boom of tamtam, timbral takes on rolling Rossini crescendos and a metronomic homage to Ligeti.
David Grahame Taylor's Clouds over Ferrara, one atmospheric song from a larger cycle, had the versatile Jennifer Maybee, singing in Polish, extending her immensely malleable soprano to moments of almost Italianate passion. Around her, a string quartet laid out a world of crushed but resilient tonality.
Maybee, with pianist Isomura, ushered in the high spirits, with Lyell Cresswell's Das Lied von dem Fisch, a riotously funny trip into Pierrot Lunaire country, with its stir-up of nudging quotes and musical mayhem.
The closing coup was Callum Blackmore's bravura performance of Cathy Berberian's Stripsody.
Blackmore, in full and spectacular drag, with ski-jump eyelashes, sashayed around the stage, making the most of the comic-strip coloratura. He preened, cooed and flirted with the audience, in between snatches of opera, lieder and the Beatles - a grand (and hilariously camp) finale.
What: Karlheinz Company
Where: University Music Theatre