FOLLOWING a concert featuring the first symphonies of Brahms and Schumann, Northern Sinfonia presented chamber music reflecting a more intimate side of the composers.

Performing to a capacity audience in The Sage’s Hall Two, Kyra Humphreys introduced a premiere at the venue of Frei Aber Einsam (Free But Happy), a sonata written as a musical gift by Schumann and his pupils for violinist Joseph Joachim.

Backed by pianist Kate Thompson, Humphreys made a strong case for Dietrich’s Allegro, delivering the narrative flow of the substantial movement with eloquence and flair.

In Schumann’s Piano Trio No 2 in F, Thompson was joined by principal cellist Louisa Tuck, along with sinfonia leader Bradley Creswick. The trio played intuitively, judging their entries with impeccable timing.

The slow movement Mitinniger Ausdruck, translates as with heartfelt expression.

They played from the soul.

Tuck was completely immersed in the moment, as she drew out the warmest of singing tones from her instrument, while Creswick’s lines soared above.

Thompson and Creswick gave a thrilling rendition of Brahms’ scherzo to the F-A-E sonata.

Brahms’ Trio for Horn Violin and Piano, with Humphreys back on violin and Peter Francomb on horn, rounded off the evening. Written as Brahms came to terms with the death of his mother, the work is one of the saddest pieces of music to have been penned.

Francomb played with supreme control and sensitivity, drawing out the softest of tones in the poignant slow movement.

The evening was dedicated to Tony Froud, who once served as Northern Sinfonia’s sinfonia concerts manager, founded the Northern Sinfonia Friends and was heavily involved in the Newcastle International Chamber Orchestra.