CLASSICAL: THE FIVE BEST CONCERTS

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The Independent Culture
Ades tomorrow

Thomas Ades conducts his own Asyla, with Jiri Belohlavek taking over the BBC SO for Bartok's Second Piano Concerto (Yefim Bronfman is soloist) and Shostakovich's tragic Fifth Symphony.

Royal Albert Hall, London SW7 (0171-589 8212) 7.30pm

The Bartered Bride tomorrow & Wed

Nikolaus Lehnhoff's clever production for Glyndebourne finds dark as well as light in Smetana's enduring comic masterpiece.

Glyndebourne Opera House, Lewes, East Sussex (01273 813813) tomorrow 4.50pm, Wed 6.05pm

Mahler's Seventh Wed

Just one work on the programme - one of the more challenging of Mahler's symphonic cycle. Bernard Haitink conducts the European Union Youth Orchestra.

Royal Albert Hall, London SW7 (0171-589 8212) 7.30pm

Bruckner's Ninth Thur

Another meaty feast, as Daniele Gatti conducts the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in Wagner (the Good Friday Music from Parsifal) and Bruckner's mighty, unfinished Ninth Symphony.

Royal Albert Hall, London SW7 (0171-589 8212) 7pm

Looking East Fri

Peter Eotvos conducts the BBC SO in a diverse programme of early Rachmaninov (The Isle of the Dead) and Stravinsky (Petrushka), sandwiching Bartok's Third Piano Concerto and the UK premiere of Kurtg's Messages.

Royal Albert Hall, London SW7 (0171-589 8212) 7.30pm

NEW RELEASES

Szymanowski: King Roger CBSO, soloists, Rattle (EMI)

Recorded immediately before a memorable performance at last year's Proms, Sir Simon Rattle comes to the operatic masterpiece of the idiosyncratic Polish composer Karol Szymanowski. The work's dazzling, multi-hued textures and exotic tableaux are brilliantly caught, with excellent performances from Thomas Hampson as the king and Elzbiete Szmytka as Roxana. Intoxicating, heady and gloriously played. HHHHH

Lili Boulanger: Faust et Helene/Psalms BBC Philharmonic, soloists, Tortelier (Chandos)

One of this season's revelations. In 1913, Lili Boulanger won the coveted Prix de Rome at the age of 19 with her cantata Faust et Helene. Her two Psalm settings, of 1916 and 1917, are on an altogether different plane; dark, poignant reflections of her lingering illness (she died at 24, depriving the century of one of its greatest voices). Highly recommended. HHHHH

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