1. Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 3 (Philips) Electrifying virtuosity and astonishing sensitivity from Martha Argerich "live" from 1982.
2. Handel Arias (Forlane) Ann Murray brings passion and acute characterisation to a repertoire she has made her own.
3. Don Giovanni (Archiv) Another John Eliot Gardiner winner. A sizzling, vintage performance.
4. Delius Piano Concerto (EMI Eminence) Pianist Piers Lane is clearly in love with this flawed but fabulous repertoire.
5. The Vagabond (Deutsche Grammophon) A hugely successful attempt by Bryn Terfel to restore Finzi, Ireland et al to a central place on the concert platform.
6. Richard Strauss: Symphony for Wind Instruments (Philips) Ripe horns and reedy reeds in romantic and mellow mood.
1. Miles Davis: The Complete Live at the Plugged Nickel (Columbia CXK 66955) This eight-CD set costs nearly 100 quid. But what price the definitive modernist statement?
2. Sly & Robbie Present the Taxi Gang: Hail Up the Taxi (Island Jamaica IJCD 3002) Jamaican rhythm duo in a dancehall daze.
3. Gorky's Zygotic Mynci: Bwyd Time (Angst CD 059) Partisan Welsh pop whimsy beyond mortal comprehension.
4. Ben Harper: Fight for Your Mind (Virgin America CDVUS 93) Nineties blues with tough moral agenda.
5. Various Artists: Universal Sounds of America (Soul Jazz SJR CD27) A bold trek through Seventies cosmic jazz.
6. Terence Blanchard: Romantic Defiance (Columbia 4804892) Elegant, measured but passionate contemporary jazz with real tunes.
1. Stargate (PG; Guild; rental) James Spader and Kurt Russell are the intergalactic adventurers who stumble upon a future where Egyptian chic rules, OK.
2. Jean de Florette/ Manon Des Sources (U; Electric; pounds 14.99 each). Claude Berri's modern classics get a deserved re-release. Put aside a summer afternoon for them.
3. Above the Rim (15; First Independent; rental). Cheesy but cheery basketball-in-the-'hood drama with sparkling soundtrack.
4. The Wicker Man (18; Warner; pounds 10.99) Dotty British horror picture with a troubling flavour all its own.
5. Black Beauty (U; Warner; pounds 14.99). Lyrical new version of Anna Sewell's novel.
6. The Scout (12; Fox; Rental). Sharp baseball comedy with god-like Albert Brooks as a scout who uncovers a bionic young hotshot.
1. Angela Carter: Burning Your Boats (Chatto, pounds 20) Ranks with her collected essays as her finest work.
2. Alice Munro: Open Secrets (Vintage, pounds 5.99) Rich, glowing simplicity. Another winner from one of the finest writers alive.
3. William Trevor: The Collected Stories (Penguin, pounds 11) Economy and understatement used to magnificently expressive effect.
4. Shena Mackay: Collected Short Stories (Penguin, pounds 6.99) Suburban straw spun into prose of gold.
5. Best American Short Stories 1994 (Houghton Miflin, pounds 7.99) A typically varied collection from this essential annual guide to new American writing.
6. Alison Lurie: Women and Ghosts (Minerva pounds 6.99) An unusual departure from the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Foreign Affairs.Reuse content