THE 80th anniversary, to the actual day, of the British premier of Schumann’s Violin Concerto in D Minor was marked in fitting style by Russian violinist Alina Ibragimova, performing with Royal Northern Sinfonia, at Sage Gatesehead.

One of Schumann’s last works, written in just 13 days, the concerto had been all but lost to the world for eight decades, before being “rediscovered” by a violinist who claims to have been spiritually guided to the score following a séance.

Ibragimova made a compelling case for this much-neglected work, with strong muscular chords laying out its majesty and full range of moods.

The slow movement had a fragile intimacy that was utterly absorbing. There was one heart-stopping moment when one of her instrument’s pegs appeared to have loosened. As quick as flash, she hunched over and deftly tightened it, before seamlessly carrying on without missing so much as a beat.

The orchestra relished the dance-like exchange of the final movement, as conductor Clemens Schuldt spurred them on.

The programme included JC Bach’s Symphony in G minor. Its tempestuous opening and closing movements were dispatched with vigour, while the expansive slow movement had a lovely lilt.

Music from Estonian composer Arvo Part came in the shape of his wittily titled If Bach had been a Beekeeper. Humming strings vividly conveyed a swarming hive.

The concert concluded with Mendelssohn’s Symphony 5 ‘Reformation’ .

Schuldt injected a sense of urgency, and with nimble turns of phrase and shaped a superb rendering of Luther’s chorale ‘Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott’.