CLASSICAL: THE FIVE BEST CONCERTS

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The Independent Culture
1

L'Enfance du Christ tonight, tomorrow

Sir Colin Davis continues his Berlioz Odyssey with the large-scale and rarely performed oratorio. It features a superb line-up of singers, headed by Ian Bostridge, Simon Keenlyside and Robert Lloyd.

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

2

CBSO, Bamert tonight

Pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin plays Beethoven's mighty "Emperor" Concerto, sandwiched between Mozart's "Haffner" Symphony and Dvorak's high-spirited Eighth Symphony.

Symphony Hall, Birmingham (02-22 3333) 7.30pm

3

Falstaff today & Wed

Verdi's last opera makes a suitably high-profile work to help relaunch the Royal Opera House. Bryn Terfel plays the old knight; Bernard Haitink conducts Graham Vick's production.

Royal Opera House, London WC2 (07-304 4000) today pm, Wed 7pm

4

Messiah Mon & Thur

Two to choose from: The Sixteen under Harry Christophers, with soloists including Susan Bickley; or Polyphony, with a cast including Emma Kirkby, Ian Bostridge and Robin Blaze.

Barbican Hall, London EC2 (07-638 889) Mon 7.30pm; St John's Smith Square, London SW (07-222 06) Thur 7.30pm

5

A Bach Christmas Wed

Philip Pickett directs his New London Consort with excerpts from the Christmas Oratorio.

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

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