Classical: The Five Best Concerts

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1

Daniel Barenboim Tomorrow

The master musician gives a rare solo piano recital - his first in London for 0 years - playing Beethoven sonatas and Book One of Debussy's Preludes.

Royal Festival Hall, London SE (07-960 4242) 3pm

2

Philharmonia Tomorow

Charles Dutoit conducts the Phil in three classic French 20th- century works - Debussy's Images, Ravel's Piano Concerto in G and Poulenc's Gloria.

Royal Festival Hall, London SE (07-360 4242) 7.30pm

3

London Mozart Players Thur

The orchestra celebrates its 50th anniversary with a Royal Gala Concert, conducted by Matthias Bamert. Music by Mozart makes up most of the programme, but there's room for the premiere of John Woolrich's Concerto for Orchestra.

Royal Festival Hall, London SE (07-360 4242) 7pm

4

Vienna Symphony Orchestra Thur

The VSO are the distinguished visitors to the Barbican today, conducted by Vladimir Fedoseyev, in a suitably Viennese programme of a Strauss waltz, Mozart's Piano Concerto No 20 and Beethoven's Sixth Symphony, "Pastoral".

Barbican Hall, London EC2 (07-638 889) 7.45pm

5

Sibelius's Kullervo Today

Sakari Oramo, the Finnish principal conductor of the CBSO, returns to home territory with his reading of Sibelius's early choral symphony based on Finland's national epic.

Symphony Hall, Birmingham (02-22 3333) 7pm

NEW RELEASES

Ives Violin Sonatas

Hansheinz Schneeberger, Daniel Cholette (ECM)

All four of Charles Ives's idiosyncratic violin sonatas are articulated with flair and style by this duo. The expansive Third Sonata is particularly impressive in their hands, but they have a fine grasp of the homespun Americana, which emerges from the entire corpus while still being classically assimilated in terms of form. A close, immaculately balanced recording. HHHH

Schnittke Psalms of Repentance

Swedish Radio Choir, Kaljuste (ECM)

Schnittke produced his 2 settings for mixed chorus in 988. He adopts a mystic, minimalist tone - though, as so often with Schnittke, with his implied layers of irony, one can never be sure of the truth of what one is hearing. The choir sings angelically for this concentrated account, the haunting ambience helped by a spacious yet sharp account. HHHH

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