Unveiling a new work at the Proms can be difficult. First there's the acoustics, which can undo all the best-laid plans. Then there's the audience. Typically they're up for an adventure of some kind, but if turns out to be the wrong sort, they make their feelings known loud and clear.

It's lucky, then, that Mark-Anthony Turnage's latest offering – Hammered Out, a 50th-birthday Proms commission in the form of a 15-minute piece for a large orchestra, which it employs at full tilt from the first – is of the kind to brook no opposition. Reminiscent in some respects of John Adams's popular Short Ride in a Fast Machine, Turnage's ride is faster, but also longer and with more interesting scenery. For, while each of the rhythmic, melodic and timbral cells is explored thoroughly (ie "hammered out"), there's always a new twist emerging. The result is a finely crafted piece with crystal-clear processes and a wealth of resonance. R&B rhythms and rock textures (an electric bass guitar adds to an already expanded orchestra) are bound up in an experience that takes exhilaration to new levels. If there's anyone still wondering why a popular festival like the Proms should concern itself with new music, this piece has the answers – it's only a shame it wasn't programmed for the Last Night.

Turnage was lucky to find an ideal conductor in David Robertson, a musician both consistently upbeat and unfailingly precise with his upbeats. His fleet-footed approach worked further wonders in Barber's Violin Concerto, which he and soloist Gil Shaham steered expertly along the narrow, potholed lanes dividing sentiment from sentimentality. As for Sibelius's second symphony, Robertson's breezy but nuanced reading, executed by a spirited BBC Symphony Orchestra, exposed the cracks in the work, but only because it did it the rare honour of taking it seriously.

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