From the Blog

Royal Northern Sinfonia review

Opening Night – Royal Northern Sinfonia at Sage Gateshead

~ a guest blog by Mandy Charlton


I have a secret to share…Last night was my very first classical music concert!  Now, I should say that when I was 20 I started teaching myself about classical music, it was one of those part by part publications, you know the ones you get weekly, they start at 99p and before you know it, you find out you’ll be 85 by the time you complete the collection and it now costs £14 an issue?

Suffice to say, I have accumulated many CD’s and I’d say my chosen type of classical music is, the noisy kind!  I’m not, you might have guessed, a connoisseur, I just like what I like and when I saw that Barbers Adagio For Strings was being performed, I knew I had to be there.

The orchestra last night performed selections from Copland, Haydn, Barber and the whole of Dvorak’s symphony number 9 “From The New World” (that’s the one with the Hovis music for anyone who can’t place it straight away).  Here’s the thing, classical music gets a bad press from the general public, there’s a thought that it’s not for everyone, that it’s for the older generation or that it might only be enjoyed if you are some kind of music professor but I want to say that everyone, no matter of age, status or anything else that matters, everyone should give classical music a chance, by giving it a chance I mean, you should go to a live performance, as lovely as it is on the radio, you really can’t beat seeing an orchestra performing live.

There’s something amazing about watching musicians at the top of their game playing live as an orchestra in union, I always watch the timpani and the percussion as I find them fascinating, even the triangle is played with greater skill that you can possibly imagine.

I loved last night, I cried during Adagio for Strings, I cried again during the first movement of Symphony number 9, music has the ability to move you, to take you to the most amazing places you can ever imagine without leaving your seat, Copland’s An Outdoor Adventure does just that, you feel you are in the countryside and at times you’re on a horse cantering with joy, there really is nothing like it.

Special mentions must go to Tamas Palfavi on trumpet and Michael O’Donnell on the cor anglais, both moved me to the point of tears with goosebumps on my skin and hairs standing up on the back of my neck during their performance of Copland’s Quiet City.

If you’ve never taken the time to go and see a classical music performance you must give it a chance and then I promise your life will never be the same again.



You can view the RNS 2017/18 classical season here or more information on the Royal Northern Sinfonia visit their website here.

~ a guest blog by Mandy Charlton





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