The new classical music season at Sage Gateshead began with a night of brilliance and effervescence in the main hall, Sage One.
The headline attraction was Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 but first up came Dances of Galánta, composed in the 1930s by the Hungarian Zoltán Kodály.
A theme running through this 2016-17 season is ‘Song and Dance’ which promises many delights.
Kodály was inspired by the folk music of his country and a band of Gypsy players.
Bradley Creswick, leader of the RNS, is known for his turbo-charged Gypsy fiddling but managed to stay in his seat on this occasion.
The compelling rhythms, fast and slow, swirled around the orchestra with Timothy Orpen’s clarinet often leading the dance in sparkling fashion.
It was a piece to put smiles on faces but this was, in any case, an infectiously upbeat concert with cheerful welcomes from the stage by both Thorben Dittes, director of the orchestra and the classical programme, and Lars Vogt, RNS music director and conductor.