Music that explored man's temporal and spiritual mortality provided the strands of high-tensile quality that ran through an outstanding opening festival concert by an indefatigable Foden's Band.
Edward Gregson's joyful 'Dances & Arias' was the first of five major works.
Written in 1984 for the National Championships it has reached middle age surprisingly untainted by the usual misplaced ambition of contest promoters and inadequate bands. Its future provenance was greatly aided by Michael Fowles, who treated the score with a cultured reserve in moulding a performance balancing its crafted challenges to its lyrical heart.
It was followed by the mythical angst of Bantock's 'Prometheus Unbound' - inspired by Shelley's poetic license to evoke the eternal consequences of playing with the fire of the gods.
Once again the MD dipped his baton deep into the rich, disturbing harmonies of the score - the music flowing with a sense of despair as the tortured soul (and his liver) was condemned to eternal damnation as carrion for the birds.
The consequences of man's rapacious exploitation of a heavenly bestowed 'Eden' gave John Pickard's 2005 work a timely sense of prescience.
The failure to heed the poisonous reptilian persuasions of John Barber's oleaginous harbinger of doom were darkly realised in Russell Gray's commanding interpretation; the mechanical horrors driving ever deeper into the life giving earth to reveal the bleakest of landscapes.
The kernel of a sustainable future emerged slowly but optimistically in a final section of hopefulness.
The failure to heed the poisonous reptilian persuasions of John Barber's oleaginous harbinger of doom were darkly realised in Russell Gray's commanding interpretation - the mechanical horrors driving ever deeper into the life providing earth to reveal the bleakest of landscapes.
Four centuries of peaceful coexistence may have given the world cuckoo clocks and oversized Toblerone chocolate bars at duty-free airport shops, but even the Swiss have had their moments of bovine covetousness.
Oliver Waespi's tale of 16th century cattle wrangling, 'The Raid', was a delight - the music flowing with herdish drama and character.
Paul Mealor's Royal Wedding music 'Ubi Caritus' provided the spiritual longueur for reflection.
However, given the current strife in the House of Windsor, it could be seen as a musical metaphor for a Promethean curse itself - an open wound to be forever pecked by the vultures of the media gods. The playing was a temporary soothing balm of lyrical understanding.
Undaunted, Foden's still had stamina in reserve for 'Paganini Variations' - a masterful work also cursed in its way by popular acclaim.
Here it was restored to its rightful status in the pantheon with a performance of stylistic nuance, pacing and dynamic variance; the touching dedication from Michael Fowles to the band's much missed former solo euphonium player Paul Walton (and the encore of 'The Day thou Gavest') a reminder to all of our temporal and spiritual mortality.