CLASSICAL: THE FIVE BEST CONCERTS

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The Independent Culture
1

Messiaen Tonight

Three classic Messiaen works as part of the "Visions" weekend from the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Andrew Davis - Chronochromie, Trois petites liturgies and the haunting Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum.

Barbican Hall, London EC2 (07-638 889), 8pm

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Messiaen Tomorrow

And the Messiaen celebration ends with perhaps his most famous single work: the tumultuous Turangalila-symphony. The composer's widow, Yvonne Loriod, takes the arduous solo piano part and again Andrew Davis conducts the BBCSO.

Barbican Hall, London EC2 (07-638 889), 7.30pm

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San Francisco SO Wed

Home from home - ex-Principal Conductor of the LSO, Michael Tilson Thomas, returns to the Barbican with his current outfit for Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto, with Gil Shaham as soloist, and Prokofiev's dramatic Symphony No 5.

Barbican Hall, London EC2 (07-638 889), 7.30pm

4

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment Thur

All-Mozart concert, featuring two piano concertos, K.49 and K.503, directed from the keyboard by Robert Levin, and the Symphony No 39.

Queen Elizabeth Hall, London SE (07-960 4242), 7.45pm

5

Philharmonia Quartet Mon

The foursome play Mozart's K.387 quartet and Shostakovich's quirky Third, before being joined by pianist Daniel Levy for Brahms's majestic Op.34 String Quintet.

Queen Elizabeth Hall, London SE (07-960 4242) 7.45pm

NEW RELEASES

Schumann Scenes from Goethe's Faust

Orchestre des Champs Elysees, Herreweghe (harmonia mundi)

This year marks the 250th anniversary of Goethe's birth, so what better way to get a fascinating perspective on the poet's Faust than in this sumptuous new recording of Schumann's grand romantic oratorio? Here, the three-part work gels wonderfully well, being immaculately sung and with Herreweghe really driving the music on HHHHH

Bruckner Symphony No 4

Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Tintner (Naxos)

The veteran conductor Georg Tintner's Bruckner cycle continues apace with the "Romantic". One can't fault the RSNO's poise or individual musicianship, while Tintner's approach, using the Haas edition, is intrepid and revealing, if slightly ponderous. Recording-wise, this is fine, but for more drama look elsewhere. HHHH

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