Haydn The Creation, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra/ RIAS Chamber Choir/ Jacobs, Barbican Hall

And Haydn said – let there be enlightenment.

Monteverdi Choir/ English Baroque Soloists/ Gardiner, Christ Church Spitalfields

Over at Christ Church Spitalfields, as part of the annual Winter Festival, John Eliot Gardiner has been serialising Bach's Christmas Oratorio.

View of Delft (1660) By Johannes Vermeer

There are works in which a single detail steals the show. Leonardo's Mona Lisa is famous for that smile. Michelangelo's The Creation of Adam is famous for those hands. And Vermeer's View of Delft – well, not quite so famous. But among readers of Proust, at least, the painting can't be recalled without a mention of one particular bit.

The art of love: Johannes Vermeer

A smile full of possibilities

Album: The Move, Looking On (Salvo)

Looking On was a transitional album in The Move’s career, with Jeff Lynne drafted in to replace the cabaret-bound Carl Wayne and share some of Roy Wood’s songwriting burden, en route to ELO.

Lost Highway, English National Opera, Young Vic, London<br/>Freiburg Baroque/Bernarda Fink, Barbican Hall, London

It's soulless va va voom, this sex on a motorbike: A David Lynch film turned opera &ndash; heaven for fans, but what about everyone else?

Album: Franz Schmidt, The Book with Seven Seals &ndash; Kristjan Jarv (Chandos)

Franz Schmidt's oratorio had its first performance in Vienna two months after the Anschluss, which is about as bad a launch as you can get.

Album: Bach, Motets &ndash; Trinity Baroque/Podger (Raum Klang)

Philippe Herreweghe's 1986 recording of the Bach Motets has long been in the small pile of discs to be grabbed in case of a fire. Thanks to Trinity Baroque, that pile is now a little bigger. Prepared by tenor Julian Podger and performed conductorless by single voices and an expressive continuo team of violone and organ, this disc has unparalleled immediacy and drama. With interpolated chant and chorales to compensate for the omission of "Lobert den Herrn", and stunning performances of two chorale preludes on the organ of St Wenzel Church, Naumburg, by James Johnstone, the quality is simply extraordinary.

James Bowman, St Martin-in-the-Fields, London

Where would "early music" have been without James Bowman? Probably not in the flourishing state it is now. And would the counter-tenor voice be the fashionable thing it is today, if he hadn't kick-started its emergence from the shadowy, over-refined realms inhabited by Alfred Deller? When Bowman breathed life into Britten's Oberon, and went on to incarnate Handel's heroes with burnished authority, the voice that had been banished to the liturgy was brought back centre-stage. The mountain of Baroque recordings he's created over the past 40 years all bear witness to his uniquely powerful and expressive sound.

Shaping up in Prague

How can you get children interested in architecture? Take them to the Czech capital and play 'Spot The Sad Lady', says Adrian Mourby

News: Rembrandt remembered

The best deals, the latest hot spots and what's new in travel
News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
musicHunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original  manuscripts
News
news
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
lifeAiming to show breasts in a non-sexual way for cancer awareness
New Articles
i100... while following the referendum
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Panama
Languedoc Roussillon
Marrakesh & the Atlas Mountains
Bruges
The Jura Mountains
Dubrovnik & the Dalmatian Coast
Prices correct as of 17 September 2014
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week