MUSIC: PROMS 99: THE NEXT SEVEN DAYS

PROM OF THE WEEK

To mark the 250th anniversary of Goethe's birth - which falls on 28 August - John Eliot Gardiner has put together one of those grandly packaged events for which he is famous. Schumann's Scenes from Goethe's 'Faust' features the mid-19th-century period instruments of his Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique, with soloists led by the baritone Dietrich Henschel (left). It is one of the grandest scores that Schumann ever attempted; almost an opera, and much more successful than his one true opera, Genoveva. The meeting of minds between Schumann and Goethe represents perhaps the ne plus ultra of German Romanticism, and although Faust must have inspired more music than almost any text, you won't find many settings that take Goethe's words so literally. Or exactly. What you hear is the original verse almost verbatim - which gives the piece an "authenticity" that other Faustian scores, Berlioz et al, don't quite deliver.

Saturday 7.30pm

Tickets: available at all prices

TODAY

NIELSEN'S 5TH SYMPHONY

The one with the relentless snare-drum tearing through the textures of the music. An astonishing and often futuristic score, played here by the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. 7.30pm

Tickets: a few available at all prices (pounds 9-20)

MONDAY

MAHLER'S 3RD SYMPHONY

The piece above all others in which Mahler composes the world. Performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Chorus, City of Birmingham Symphony Youth Chorus and mezzo soprano Michelle DeYoung. Bernard Haitink conducts. 7.30pm

Tickets: a few available (pounds 16)

TUESDAY

PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY

Down from Edinburgh, where they have been participating in the festival with their new music director, Mariss Jansons. The programme includes Shostakovich's Symphony no 6 in B minor and Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique. 7.30pm

Tickets: sold out

WEDNESDAY

PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY

Another orchestral portrait of the creative artist triumphing over his (needless to say) mean-spirited critics. With hunky young Danish baritone Bo Skovhus in Mahler's Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, and Strauss's Ein Heldenleben. 7.30pm

Tickets: a few available (pounds 10)

THURSDAY

LOUIS ANDRIESSEN PREMIERE

A 60-minute score called Trilogy of the Last Day, which contemplates the final gasps of humankind, with a battery of amplified guitars and saxophones. A noisy exit, following Brumel's Missa Et ecce terra motus. Oliver Knussen conducts the London Sinfonietta and London Sinfonietta Voices. 7.30pm

Tickets: available at all prices

FRIDAY

SHOSTAKOVICH 15TH SYMPHONY

Chillingly sardonic anti-humour from conductor Mark Wigglesworth, and his BBC National Orchestra of Wales. With violinist Christian Tetzlaff. 7pm

Tickets: a few available at all prices

ANDREAS SCHOLL

A late-night concert with the young, cult counter-tenor of our times. Oh, and his sister too, Elisabeth Scholl. Music includes Vivaldi's Filiae maestae Jerusalem, Wassenaer's Concerto no 4 in F minor, and Pergolesi's Stabat Mater. 10pm

Tickets: a few available (pounds 9)

SATURDAY

See Prom of the Week, above

Ticket information is correct at time of going to press. Five hundred standing tickets are on sale one hour before each performance.

All concerts at Royal Albert Hall, SW7 (0171 589 8212)

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