Music - Bradley Creswick violin virtuoso

Music - Bradley Creswick, virtuoso violinist

As a proud Northumbrian, I receive the/a local magazine; and read it! Most of which doesn’t quite apply to me (having no kids for one), but others do as I love the Northumberland county for all its beauty, peace and (at times!!) quiet. When I saw an advert in the Business Spotlight section of a man playing the violin going to be playing close to me I knew I had to attend. Had to, even in a church!

The violin player in question – or Virtuoso Violinist – was Bradley Creswick and when Patricia* (*Ex, not real) name saw him she let out a very happily surprised “BRADLEY CRESWICK!?!” knowing of him being a great violin player herself. That only added to my excitement (I did not know of the name!).

Bradley was to be accompanied with David Murray on the piano performing a stunning programme of music that included a brilliant array of pieces with a slightly festive theme:

Claude Debussy                –            Sonata in G minor
César Franck                       –            Sonata in A major
Erno Dohnanyi                  –            Ruralia Hungarica: Andante rubato
Grigoras Dinicu                 –             Ciocârlia (Skylark)
Franz von Vecsey             –             Valse Triste
Fritz Kreisler                       –             Marche miniature viennoise
Béla Bartók                         –             Romanian Folk Dances
Maurice Ravel                  –             Tzigane
Jenȍ Hubay                         –             Hejre Kati

What a fantastic night! I am very glad I spied the advert and followed it up and went. Best £8 spent ever! Ever! Yip, that’s correct. Eight quid! Like I say, when Patricia* saw the advert she said “wow!”, that was enough for me to look forward to. I went on my tod (unfortunate timings) and never looked back. Yes, I was the youngest there, IN CHURCH on a Saturday night, but a great decision. Amazing violin playing and piano accompaniment. Amazing.

You might be thinking Bradley who David who? Well, see below from the small programme to fill in the blanks!

All I can say, if you haven’t guessed it so far, is that it was a Saturday night of a different kind but thoroughly and utterly a great night on the back of a great decision! The vibe there was brilliant, with Bradley and David bouncing off each other musically and humorously too!

So the ending of 2016 produced an unexpected superb classical music (local) night with Bradley Creswick that couldn’t have been better than hoped for; followed by what I had previously booked tickets for, 4 weeks earlier... Phew!

Step forward Baroque, Christmas by Candle Light, A Nordic Christmas”. When I saw this advertised in the Sage Gateshead’s seasonal brochure to get into the Christmas spirit, I knew what I had to do. With seasonal instrumental favourites in the stunning candlelit atmosphere of one of our region’s beautiful churches, with a programme to include Corelli’s Christmas Concerto, Albinoni’s Concerto for Oboe and Strings in D minor and Vivaldi’s ‘Winter’ from The Four Seasons – I HAD to sort tickets for me and Patricia*! 

The nearest beautiful venue hosting this gig, was St. George’s Church, Cullercoats – another church (?!) – and wow wow wow! What an atmospheric venue! The Royal Northern Sinfonia were absolutely amazing start to finish.

We were sitting in front row seats as they were available. I did question to myself initially whether they would be the best listening seats but that didn’t matter one iota! The pure sound from every single instrument was incredible. I enjoyed sitting right in front of the double bass, it being placed next to the (2) cellos and seeing how they are played with their resulting sounds. Unreal!

Every musicians’ instrument was SO good! I tweeted “.@RNSinfonia, was #spellbinding! Amazing start to finish. Never seen/heard #Vivaldi like that - #Goosebumps galore!” A summary of my feeling from that night!

That was an outstanding gig of top calibre! Amazing musicians playing superb classical pieces with a similar theme, and my word how they worked!

Emotions wild at times, goosebumps others; totally engrossed, highest-order harmonies with many other music positives.

Vivaldi's Winter was incredible. Never heard it like that before. The whole piece was mind blowing. A big wow!

Superb Sunday night!

Quick information links if interested (you should!) :

  • Bradley Creswick has a long association with the Northern Sinfonia going back to 1984 when he was first appointed leader. One highlight from that period with the Sinfonia was a performance of Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No 2 for BBC Radio 3. In 1987 he moved to London to lead the Philharmonia, returning to make guest appearances with the Sinfonia, notably as soloist with them in the 1989 BBC Proms, playing The Lark Ascending. In London he served as leader of the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House before taking the opportunity, in 1994, to return to the Sinfonia and the Northeast for a second time, working at The Sage Gateshead.
  • David Murray has been recognised as one of the most acclaimed pianist in the North East and is in constant demand as a soloist, accompanist and chamber music partner.


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