A CAPACITY audience packed the recently refurbished Methodist church in Stokesley to hear a virtuoso performance of Hungarian Dances played by violinist Bradley Creswick, accompanied on the piano by Margaret Fingerhut, organised by Teesside Music Society.

The music was punctuated by readings by Jessica Duchen from her novel Hungarian Dances, which follows the unusual story of a gypsy who, against all the odds, becomes a famous violinist. This takes place against the background of the rise of Nazism in Europe and the terrible fate which befell many Romany people as a result. It was a very affecting combination together with the music.

Creswick produced a wonderfully wild and plangent rendering of music by Dohnanyi, Monti, Kreisler, Bartok, Brahms, to mention but a few. He almost seemed to become an organic entity with his violin, wandering in the aisles and kneeling at the feet of his spellbound patrons in true gypsy style.

To say that Margaret Fingerhut accompanied is really to understate the very fine contribution her piano playing made to the musical effect. She is a most sensitive performer, and her playing was superb, entirely suiting the mood of the music whether madly wild and soaring or restrained and poignant.

The combination with Creswick and Jessica Duchen was judged to perfection.

Altogether it was a performance which will long be remembered by a very appreciative audience.

Irene MacDonald