IT takes courage to schedule a little-known concerto. It also takes perseverance to master its challenges, especially when you know that your chances of playing it again are slim.

Canadian-born Victoria Bernath took all this in her stride and emerged with a smile on Saturday, after tackling the Viola Concerto in G minor (1903) by Cecil Forsyth, best-known to generations of music students for his book on orchestration.

Forsyth came right out of the Parry and Stanford stable at the Royal College of Music, emulating their styles here.

Miss Bernath settled quickly and negotiated the agitated flow of the opening with bold, rich tone. The multiple voices of its cadenza held no terrors for her.

She was equally eloquent in the slow movement’s tender melody, finding more intensity for its near-Elgarian climax.

The finale’s contrasting themes, minor and major, were carefully distinguished, but after some rapid-fire dialogue with John Stringer’s attentive orchestra, she threw caution to the winds and finished with considerable flair.

Charlotte Bray’s Black Rainbow (2013) carried a sense of menace through its 12 minutes, leaning mainly on brass and timpani for its spare effects.

Its fascination lay in its internal rhythms and clear textures.

The orchestra let rip with Verdi’s Nabucco overture, and finished hardly less rumbustiously with Nielsen’s Fourth Symphony, some delicate woodwinds apart.

Muscular brass and percussion, resounding off the organ case directly behind them, several times submerged the gallant strings.