It must be said that when Michael Tilson Thomas took over the LSO in 1988, the orchestra was a shadow of its former great self. Tilson Thomas has since stepped down in favour of his principal guest conductor Sir Colin Davis, but thanks to their work, the LSO now makes a powerful case for being the best band in town. Some of Davis's tempi in the present Sibelius cycle have been on the broad side but there is no denying the thrilling orchestral sound - from the sonorous low strings to the triumphant bloom of the brass playing. Anne-Sophie Mutter joins them tonight (with a repeat tomorrow) for the fiendish Violin Concerto, flanked by the freshness of the Sixth Symphony and the stunning cumulative power of the single- movement Seventh. The cycle closes on Sunday with a rare performance of the early Kullervo Symphony. See you there.

David Benedict

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