CLASSICAL MUSIC: THE FIVE BEST CONCERTS

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The Independent Culture
BBC NO of Wales tonight

The climax of the North Wales International Music Festival sees Tadaaki Otaka conduct John Lil in Beethoven's Fifth Piano Concerto, as well as Strauss's Tod und Verklarung and the world premiere of Hoddinott's Symphony No 10.

St Asaph Cathedral, St Asaph (01745 584508) 7.30pm

Joanna MacGregor Tue

As part of the Windsor Festival, the pianist's far-reaching recital mixes Bach and Beethoven (the "Waldstein" Sonata) with Janacek, Bartok and even jazz legend Thelonious Monk.

Provost's Lodge, Eton College, Windsor (01753 623400) 8pm

Orfeo Wed & Fri

An impressive cast makes English National Opera's revival of Monteverdi's landmark early opera worth seeing alone: John Mark Ainsley is the hero, with Sandra Ford as Euridice.

Coliseum, London WC2 (0171-632 8300) 7.30pm

Felicity Lott Mon

The sublime soprano joins cellist Steven Isserlis, flautist Emily Beynon and pianist Jean-Yves Thib- audet for a Gallic potpourri - Franck, Massenet, Faure, Ravel, Berlioz, Debussy and Poulenc.

Queen Elizabeth Hall, London SE1 (0171-960 4242) 7.45pm

Philharmonia Orchestra Thur

For many, the highlight will be the meticulous precision of Mitsuko Uchida's Mozart Piano Concerto No 24, but conductor Kurt Sanderling should make an impressive stab at Sibelius's Second Symphony.

Royal Festival Hall, London SE1 (0171-960 4242) 7.30pm

NEW RELEASES

Holborne: "My Selfe" The King's Noyse (harmonia mundi)

Opting for violins instead of the more melancholy sound of viols, the King's Noyse, under David Douglas, take us on a journey through the life of this great Elizabethan composer, using his dances to form a musical biography. The superb lutist Paul O'Dette adds his distinctive playing to what is a very moving testament to one of this country's early musical masters. HHHH

Reger: Cello Suites Nos 1-3 Guido Schiefen (Arte Nova)

Max Reger is often dismissed as being too academic a composer, yet his best works, particularly those from his late years, display his consummate skill and original train of thought. These three Cello Suites consciously hark back to Bach but, as the young German soloist on this budget release shows, these works are full of profound ideas, their technical difficulties never obscuring the suite's pure intellectual truth. HHHH

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