Albums of the year: Classical
Sunday 26 December 2010
Chamber music triumphed over grand projects in 2010, with the notable exception of Sir Mark Elder's luminous Götterdämmerung with the Hallé.
Those who carved the loneliest path included Ruth Palmer's Hidden Acoustics, while Rousset's recital of Froberger breathed vivacity into dusty scores. Lutenist Nigel North's The Heart Trembles with Pleasure revisited Sylvius Weiss's blithe early works, while Alexei Lubimov pitched muscular pianism against the delicate fortepianos of Müller and Schantz in his peerless recording of Schubert's Impromptus, my disc of the year. Small was beautiful in the symphonic repertoire, too, with a fleet performance of Beethoven's Ninth from Emanuel Krivine, La Chambre Philharmonique and Les Eléments and an intimate reading of Mahler's Fourth from the late Sir Charles Mackerras and the Philharmonia.
Meanwhile, Vladimir Jurowksi and the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Ivá* Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra dazzled and blazed with Brahms and Dvorák.
The City of London Sinfonia's disc of Geoffrey Burgon's Merciless Beauty was released just a few months before Burgon's death – a fine tribute to an under-appreciated craftsman.
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tvReview: No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa
tv Gymnast Louis Smith triumphed in the Christmas special
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
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Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
- 2 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 3 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
- 4 Vagina canoe artist defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
- 5 The Queen’s speech 2014: Recap and Twitter reaction to Game of Thrones reference
EastEnders Christmas special, review: Brilliant Danny Dyer glues you to your seat
Felicity Jones on being Stephen Hawking's wife in The Theory of Everything: 'I didn't want her to be a saint'
Game of Thrones season five: First preview clip shows a beardy Tyrion, a moody Cersei and a distressed Arya
Doctor Who series 9: Jenna Coleman staying on for whole season as Clara Oswald
The Interview finally gets US release after Sony hack and terror threats – but reviews of North Korea satire are mixed
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader