There may have been some discussion in the boardroom when Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra contemplated pairing Prokofiev with Bruckner in the one programme. But under the title of Romantic Bruckner, it proved an ingenious combination.
Could we have had a finer soloist than Nikita Boriso-Glebsky in Prokofiev's First Violin Concerto? I think not.
Written in the year of the Russian Revolution, this 20-minute score glistens and flashes with scintillating, iridescent colours.
Boriso-Glebsky and the APO, under Eckehard Stier, caught them all. We were wooed into the score, as Boriso-Glebsky followed Prokofiev's sognato (dreamlike) directive. Within minutes, a second theme, heavily ornamented, glittered like 20th century Couperin, etched in steel.
The central scherzo was all lightness; here it almost seemed the musicians had created a magical globe, spinning in mid-air, casting its hues all around.
Boriso-Glebsky also gave us a generous encore, calling on all the tonal sinew necessary to portray those sinister Furies that lurk in the final movement of Ysaye's second violin sonata.
After interval, as he took up his baton for Bruckner's Fourth Symphony, one felt Stier was about to conduct an eagerly awaited personal highlight of his year.
Even Brucknersceptics could not remain immune to the power of Nicola Baker's opening horn solo floating over shimmering strings. The composer's bold, primal and spacious writing may have detractors, but Stier forged all-important connections; tempos were faultless and symphonic narrative assured.
The strings excelled themselves in the andante, which Stier maintained at a pace that ensured an appropriate eventual flowering.
If Bruckner's scherzos can lumber, compared to those of Beethoven or Mahler, the third movement had a real stride to it, throwing its gentle dancing trio into dramatic relief.
By the finale, few could have resisted total immersion in Bruckner's soundworld. Brushstrokes are even bolder here, with an almost bewildering profusion of themes, but the clarity of Stier's vision allowed no faltering of energy.
All of which makes one impatient for July, when Lionel Bringuier joins the APO to bring a Gallic perspective to the composer's Seventh.